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NUMBER 67 FALL 2001 






Through The Writing Pen 

Stuart Lutz 

[This is an abridgement of a piece which first appeared 
in the June 2001 Autograph Collector magazine. Its author 
was kind enough to contact us with the suggestion. Since 
much of the introductory, historical, and book auction 
material is very familiar to Carrollians, this present article 
is quite shortened. Reprinted by permission, Autograph 
Collector magazine, Corona, CA (www. Autograph Copyright 2001, All Rights Reserved.] 

Charles Lutwidge Dodgson penned tens of 
thousands of letters, and he was certainly one of the most 
fascinating letter writers from a physical and creative 
standpoint. Not only did he use two different names but he 
had two distinct handwritings, and his letters were not 
necessarily meant to be read in the conventional way. In 
1879, he confessed that he wrote "wheelbarrows full" of 
letters, and bemoaned that "one-third of my life seems to 
go to receiving letters and the other two-thirds in answering 


Dodgson used 
two distinct autographs, 
"Lewis Carroll" and "CL 
Dodgson," though the 
latter is the more com- 
mon. I illustrate here 
three "C L Dodgson" sig- 
natures, which are noted 
for their graceful loops 
and lack of pen lifts. 
Dodgson began his 
autograph at the top of 
the "D", then worked his way backwards to create the "C", 
then the "L", and continued by finishing the "D" and then 
the "odgson". One example here, however, shows Dodgson 
writing the "C" and "L" independent of his last name, but 
then he writes his surname in one stroke; this, however, is 
the exception. In general, Dodgson legibly forms his letters 
in his autograph and puts in many wild loops at various angles, 
such as the "d" and "g". 

With regards to the 
scarcer "Lewis Carroll" 
autograph, Dodgson uses two 
separate words. In the two 
examples shown here, he 
connects the "L" to "ewis" in 

one, and fails to do so in the other. On the whole, the "Lewis 
Carroll" signature appears to be tamer, with fewer loops. 

Dodgson, besides owning dual names, used two 
distinct handwritings, one cursive and one block. In one 
letter illustrated here, Dodgson used both. His cursive 
writing is rapid but readable, and usually all of the letters 
are connected together. His writing is evenly spaced and he 
continued to the right margin. Besides writing conventional 
cursive letters, Carroll often created unusual cursive pieces; 
e.g. a letter written in a spiral, one written backwards (start 




NiT tut jr.. „ 


jPrt<iLjK.&tp yf crofts o*i *. ns*&s 

on the lowest line and read up, [opposite]) and one "mirror 
written", meaning one has to hold it up to a looking-glass to 
read it (writing in this manner successfully is no small feat). 

Dodgson 's block writing is extremely neat, well 
formed and legible. Unlike his script, Dodgson uses uncon- 
nected letters. Sometimes he will add extra flourishes to 
capital letters, as evidenced in the famous rebus letter. 

Nearly all Dodgson correspondence is completely 
in his hand; in fact, his LsS are very scarce. He did not use 
any pre-printed letterhead, but headed nearly all of his 
correspondence "Ch. Ch." or "Ch. Ch. Oxford" (for Christ 
Church), followed immediately by the date. Many of his 
responses to simple requests are written using third person 
ALsS, and almost always signed using Dodgson. When he 
signed in the text, he generally separated the "C" and "L" 
from his last name, unlike his autographs concluding letters. 

The most desirable and expensive Dodgson ALsS 
are the ones dealing with Alice. In 1995, Christie's sold for 
$6,500 an 1 872 ALS discussing turning Alice into a play. A 
year earlier, Christie's auctioned for $4,000 an 1895 ALS 
with Dodgson giving his approval for a dramatized Alice. 
An 1873 ALS discussing the dramatization of the book sold 
at Sotheby's in 1987 for $2,700. 

As someone who used letters as his primary means 
of correspondence, Dodgson wrote about a great number 
of other topics. In 1996, Christie's East sold an 1856 letter 
with an eight line poem for $3,800. This 1856 date, when 

was just 
four, rep- 
resents the 
letter I 
could lo- 


cate. An 1 878 letter to a girl, apologizing for forgetting to 
send a copy of An Easter Greeting, hammered for $3,100 
at Sotheby's in 1996. An 1892 tea invite to a girl and her 
sister fetched $6,000 in 1996, while an 1877 letter, 
expressing Dodgson's annoyance at the recipient's refusal 
to leave him alone with his eight year old daughter, notched 
$6,700 in 1995. An 1881 ALS explaining his decision to 
abandon photography sold for $6,500 at Phillips in 1994. 
If you are seeking a low content ALS, you can expect to pay 
between $700 and $1,200. 

If one studies the substance of Dodgson's letters, 
many have fine content. For example, Gerry Stodolski* 
offered an 1 870 ALS to the mother of a little girl named 
Edith. Dodgson, who was deaf in one ear, sympathized, "/ 
am so very sorry to hear of my dear little friend suffering 
from deafness. It is, I know, a very trying ailment indeed, 
& must be particularly so to a child... I will enclose for 
her a riddle I wrote the other day. It is a new style of 
composition with me, altogether... If Edith can guess this 
(or even if she can't) I will send her two or three others 
which I have made. " A couple of years ago, Steve Koschal* 
offered a playful and whimsical letter to a girl, Magdalen, 
signed with a double signature, "At last I met a wheel barrow 
that I thought would attend to me, but I couldn 't make out 
what was in it. I saw some features at first, then I looked 
through a telescope and found it was a countenance: then 
I looked through a microscope and found it was a face! I 
thought it was rather like me, so I fetched a large looking 
glass to make sure, and then to my great joy I found it 
was me. We shook hands, and were just beginning to talk, 
when myself came up and joined us, and we had quite a 
pleasant conversation... ". 

I could find no record of a Dodgson check selling, 
either at auction or by going through dealer catalogs. The 
checks may all be institutionalized, or he may not have used 

As a decent illustrator, Dodgson did sketches that 
are now quite valuable. In 1986, Christie's sold nine 
Dodgson drawings with captions for Alice's Adventures In 
Wonderland; they were based on John Tenniel's sketches 
for the book. These sketches sold for nearly a quarter of a 
million fifteen years ago, but outside of the original Alice 
manuscript at the British Museum, it is hard to imagine a 
better Dodgson piece. In 1992, Christie's sold an illustrated 
Three Little Pigs done in nine panels; it hammered for 
$ 1 6,000. Three years before that, Sotheby's sold a Dodgson 
sketch of two sisters for $7,500. 

Dodgson signed images are rare, despite the fact 
he was a photographer. In fact, The Sanders Price Guide 
does not list any in their reference work. The only signed 
photograph with an image of Dodgson for which I could 
find an auction record is a cabinet signed image signed in 
pencil on the verso; it sold at Sotheby's in 1996 for almost 

Dodgson signatures do occasionally appear, and 
sell for a few hundred dollars. "Remember When"* had one 
in 1994 with an estimate of $200 to $300, and Darvick off- 

ered one in 1996 with an estimate of $300 to $500. 

In Collecting Autographs And Manuscripts, 
Charles Hamilton claimed to have seen several forged 
Carroll signatures. He related that from 1944 to 1948, there 
were ninety presentation books sold at auction. With typical 
wit, Hamilton wrote that "Assuming a portion of the ninety 
represents copies which appeared several times at auction 
during the period, this prolific record has never, to my 
knowledge, been equaled by any other author." With the 
plethora of Dodgson letters available, it is little surprise 
that forgeries target the juiciest collectibles, signed books. 

Carroll created timeless works that have the rare 
ability to appeal to both adults and children. Fortunately 
for collectors, his material is available and some of his 
letters reflect his delightful whimsy, both in terms of content 
and form. 

* = autograph dealers 

Tracking down the Jabberwock 1 
Alan Martin, Ph.D., J.D. 

On the evening of April 25, 2001, I was doing a 
little light reading while using a treadmill. The book was 
David Bergamini's Mathematics, 2 a popular history. On page 
67, 1 read: 

"In 825 A.D. al-Khowarizmi, the same sage of Baghdad who 
had publicized the positional 10-system of writing numbers, wrote 
the first clear textbook on algebra. The title of this influential 
work was al-jabr w 'al-muqabalah, which, translated from the 
Arabic, roughly means "the art of bringing together unknowns to 
match a known quantity." The key word in the title, al-jabr, or 
"bringing together" gave rise to our word algebra. . . ' 

It appears that I naively stumbled onto a book that 
is very well known among historians of mathematics. "Al- 
Khowarizmi" means "the man from Khowarizm". 3 Although 
a native of Khowarizm, Mohammed ben Musa resided in 
Baghdad and wrote in the library of the Caliph al-Mamun 
the Great, who reigned A.D. 813-833. Mohammed ben Musa 
probably died between A.D. 835 and 845. 

In Professor Hughes' "critical edition" of Robert 
of Chester's Latin translation of Al-jabr w'al-Muqabalah, 
the author is referred to as "Mahumed filius Moysi 
Algaurizmi". He was also referred to as "Algoarizm", 
"Algaurizm", and "Algaurizim" in other medieval texts. 4 If 
these sound like "algorithm" to you, you are right. 5 
Furthermore, it is evidently well known that the term 
"algebra" derives from al-Jabr w'al-Muqabalah. 6 

Back to the treadmill: since I am an amateur linguist 
(but not a scholar of Arabic), what I saw on Bergamini's 
page (and heard) was — 

al- JABR W Al-muQabalah 
— Jabberwock! 

To me, the connection is utterly obvious. So, it 
appears to me, not only does the English language owe 
algebra and algorithm to al-Khowarizmi, it may also — 
through Lewis Carroll — owe Jabberwock to him as well. 

So, the next evening, I rushed to my local public 
library to consult The Annotated Alice. Fortunately, the 
library had just acquired the recently published new edition. 7 
There is not one word of this concept in any of the notes in 
it. Nor is there any in the OED. 8 So, on the following day I 
telephoned Mr. Martin Gardner and sent him by fascimile 
the cited page from Bergamini. He said that he had not heard 
this before, and that I was probably right. 

Mr. Gardner states that the idea that al-Jabr w 'al 
Muqabalah is the source of "jabberwock" is a reasonable 
conjecture. I am very glad that he believes that. However, I 
hope to demonstrate that this conjecture is more than merely 
reasonable. I believe that is it highly likely, because my 
further conjecture is that Lewis Carroll actually saw at least 
the title of, or the actual text of, or at least heard of, al 
Khwarizmi's al-Jabr w 'al Muqabalah. I cannot prove that 
he actually did see or hear of it. But I can show that he could 
have seen the title or the text (and for the same reasons, 
could have heard of it). 
Could Carroll have seen al-Jabr w'al Muqabalah? 

The first question is: was the book available in 

English in Oxford when Lewis Carroll was there? The 
answer is definitely yes. 

To investigate this I searched the on-line catalogue 
of the Bodleian Library at the University of Oxford. What I 
found was that an English edition, entitled The Algebra of 
Mohammed ben Musa, by Muhammad b. Musa Khuwarazmi, 
edited and translated by Friedrich August Rosen, was 
published in 183 1. 9 It exists in the Bodleian today. This 
edition contains a transcript of the underlying Arabic 
manuscript (dated A.H. 743, A.D. 1342), which was also, at 
the time of Rosen's writing, and is today, in the Bodleian. 

I inquired of the Bodleian as to when the library 
had acquired the Rosen volume. The answer is: 1832. 

The next question is whether Lewis Carroll actually 
saw that book. It is fairly obvious that since Carroll was a 
mathematician, he might well have seen it. But did he? To 
determine this I next inquired of the Bodleian whether the 
library has records of persons who have read books in its 
collection and, if so, whether these records extend to the 
nineteenth century. This yielded the response from Mr. 
Stephen Tomlinson, Archivist of the Bodleian, that the 
Bodleian does have such records extending from the mid- 
eighteenth century to the early twentieth, and they are 
complete for the period of interest. They are called "entry 
books." There are also records, beginning in the 1860's, 
that tell whether a person was admitted to read in the library. 

At this point a search of the entry books was called 
for. Even if such a search were negative, there would still 
be the possibility that Carroll saw a copy of Rosen's book 
other than the one that was in the Bodleian. He might have 
owned one. He might have seen a colleague's. He might have 
seen one earlier in his education. And, as discussed below, 
there is another book of the same title by a different author, 
of which Carroll might have been aware. And, even if he had 
not seen them, he might have heard of them. (Still further 
possibilities are discussed below.) 

For what period should the search be carried out? 
Mark Burstein pointed out to me in a phone conversation 
that the opening stanza of "Jabberwocky" first appeared in 
Carroll's private periodical Mischmasch, in an issue dated 
1855, when Carroll was twenty-three years old. 10 However, 
the title "Jabberwocky" does not appear there — at least, 
not according to the notes in Annotated Alice. 

Assuming that the terms "jabberwock" and 
"jabberwocky" did not appear in the 1855 Mischmasch, the 
first time period to examine would be from 1871 (when 
TTLG was first published) back through 1865 (when AW 
was first published). The second would extend back to 1 855, 
the date of the verse in Mischmasch. The third would extend 
back to the beginning of Carroll's undergraduate studies 
(presumably 1851). Of course, he could have seen or heard 
of Rosen's book (or another of the possibilities discussed 
in this paper) at an even earlier date. 
Did Lewis Carroll see Rosen's book? 

At my request, Mr. Tomlinson was kind enough to 
review the Bodleian's entry books for the period 1865 
through 1871. He reported the following: 

"I worked through 1871 and then backwards to 1 January 1865 
without finding any record of [the Rev. C.L.] Dodgson looking at 
either Sem. 3.61 [Rosen] or the [underlying] Huntington [214] 
manuscript. In fact in that period I found only one recorded visit 
to the Library by him. On 30 June 1 87 1 he consulted two printed 
books, Joseph Trapp's Prcelectiones Poeticce ( 1 722), and Francis 
Blackburne's Memoirs of Thomas Hollis (1780)." 

Thus, Lewis Carroll did not see the Bodleian's copy 
of Rosen (or of any of the other possibilities discussed in 
this paper) in the years 1865-1871 — that is, unless another 
person obtained it and showed it to him. Whether Carroll 
obtained that copy before 1 865 is an open question, awaiting 
further search of the entry books. Considering Carroll's rare 
use of the Bodleian, and the non-mathematical nature of 
the books he did access, I think it is unlikely that one would 
find that Carroll did obtain the Bodleian's copy of Rosen 
before 1865. 

At least we now know, as a result of Mr. 
Tomlinson's effort, which Bodleian books Carroll did access 
in the period 1865-1871 — a fact that may be of general 
interest to students of Carroll's works. 
If he had seen the book, would he have seen the phrase? 

If Carroll saw some copy of Rosen's book, would 
he have seen the Roman characters al-Jabr w'al 
Mokabalah? In other words, does the complete Arabic title 
appear in transliteration to Roman characters in Rosen's 
English translation? To determine this I consulted the Library 
of Congress's collection and found the 1986 facsimile 
edition of the 1831 London edition. 1 The dual volume con- 
sists of: 

I: a preface; the English translation; and notes, which 
are keyed to Rosen's Arabic transcription of the Arabic 
manuscript that is in Huntington 214, and not to his 
English translation; and 

II: the Arabic transcription; 

Now, here is the rub — Rosen's English title page 
for the dual volume reads: "the / algebra / of / mohammed 


Following his preface, Rosen places the following 
header at the beginning of his translation: "mohammed ben 


I observe that Rosen, in his notes to the Arabic 
version, uses the form jebr, not jabr, and the form 
mokabalah, not muqabalah. The form of "mokabalah" is 
not critical to my argument; if anything, the "k" works better 
than the "q". Jebr certainly could have mutated to "jabber" 
in Carroll's mind, given its similarity to the English "jabber". 
(There exists also an open "e" (e in the 1 95 1 international 
phonetic alphabet) that resembles the "a" in "jabber"; this 
could have been used by a person reading the Arabic title to 
Carroll.) I do not think jebr is a critical limitation. 

Thus, a transliteration into Roman characters from 
Arabic characters of the complete title appears neither on 
the cover page of the English translation, nor the header at 
the beginning of the translation, nor, indeed, anywhere else 

in the dual volume! Only the Arabic script appears. This 
means that the conjunction "W (meaning "and") 13 does not 
appear in transliteration between the two transliterated terms 
al-jebr and al-mokabalah anywhere in the volume — 
although, as discussed below, Rosen did separately present 
transliterations of, and discuss, the terms al-jebr and al- 

It follows that Lewis Carroll could not have seen 
the transliteration from Arabic to Roman characters in the 
form al-Jebr w 'al- Mokabalah in this book. And that means 
that for al-Jebr w 'al- Mokabalah for al-Jabr w 'al- 
Muqabalah) to have been the source of "jabberwock", 
Carroll either had to have obtained the transliteration from 
someone or somewhere else, or read Arabic, or had heard 
the title spoken by someone. 

There are other possible sources of Lewis Carroll's 
knowledge of al-Khwarizmi's book, albeit all of them 
arguably more remote than Rosen's English translation — 

1 . Professor Hughes points out four medieval translations 
of al-Khwarizmi's book. 14 It is highly unlikely that any 
of these is the source, since a fairly accurate 
transliteration of the Arabic phrase would have been 
required, and the Latinized versions of the title that I 
have seen deviate significantly from the Arabic — with 
the major exception of Wallis, as discussed below. 

2. There is yet another Kitab fi al-Jabr wa 7- 
MuqabalafhJ . This is by abu Kamil Shuja' ibn Aslam 
ibn Muhammad ibn Shuja' (ca. A.D. 850-930), who 
expanded on al-Khwarizmi's volume. In principle, Lewis 
Carroll could also have seen, or heard of, abu Kamil's 
al-Jabr wa 'l-Muqabalah. 

3. In Die Algebra der Greichen, published in 1842, 15 Dr. 
Nesselmann, a philologist at the University of 
KSnigsberg, discussed the historical sources of algebra, 
including a reference to Rosen's book. 16 The following 
phrases do appear in Die Algebra der Greichen — 

"Aljabr foder Aljebr) wa'lmukabalah"(at45); 

"Algja'br W'almukabala" (at 47, citing a Latin text: 

Wallis, Opera, Til, p. 2). 

Thus, Die Algebra der Greichen does possess the 
Latin transliteration containing the conjunction "wa" that 
Rosen and the other sources cited above lack, and therefore 
could have been the source. 17 

The original 1 842 edition of this book is in the 
University of Oxford at Corpus Christi College. I have not 
yet determined whether there is evidence that Carroll saw 
it. I doubt that there is such evidence. 

But, wait — just what is "Wallis, Opera, Til?" and 
who is Wallis? John Wallis, S. T. D. (1616 - 1703) was 
Savilian Professor of Geometry at the University of Oxford. 
He is author of A Treatise of Algebra, both Historical and 
Practical. Shewing The Original, Progress, and 
Advancement therof from time to time; and by what Steps 
it hath attained to the H eighth at which it now is, London: 
printed by John Playford, for Richard Davis, Bookseller, in 
the University of Oxford, 1685. I8 Here is what he says, at 
page 2: 

"In Arabic, [this Analysis or Resolution] is called Al-gjdbr W'al- 
mokdbala: From the former of which words we call it Algebra. 
The Arabic verb Gjdbara, or, as we should write that sound, in 
English letters, jdbara, (from whence comes the Noun Al- 
gjdbr,) signifies to Restore, and (more especially) to restore a 
broken Bone, or Joynt; to set a broken Bone, or a Bone out of 
joynt: And is of kin to the Hebrew Gabar, which signifies, To be 
strong. The Arabic Verb Kdbala, (from whence comes the noun 
Al-mukdbala) signifies, to Oppose, Compare, or set one thing 
against another. So that their Al-Gjdbr W'Almokdbala may 
signifie, the Art of Restitution and Comparing; or, the Art of 
Resolution and Equation. Lucas de Burgo (the ancientest 
European Algebraist that I have met with) expounds it by 
Restaurationis & Oppositionis Regula." (Emphasis added.) 

Thus, here is a book in English, printed by an 
Oxonian printer, that does contain the key phrase Al-gjdbr 
W'al-mokdbala — twice in the paragraph discussing the 
source of the word "algebra". Although it is unlikely that 
Carroll personally accessed this book in the Bodleian, 
Carroll certainly could have seen it. His tutor at Oxford must 
have been familiar with it. Since the quoted passage is at 
page 2 of Wallis, Carroll need not have delved deeply before 
seeing this passage. 

Wallis soon translated this book into Latin: De 
Algebra Tractatus, Historicus et Practicis, 1693. It was 
reprinted as volume II of Wallis, Opera Mathematica, in 
1699. 19 This is the Wallis, Opera, Til, to which Nesselmann 
refers. The Latin version, which refers to the 1685 English 
edition on its frontispiece, contains the same key term three 
times in the corresponding paragraph, also at page 2. 20 So 
Carroll could equally have seen the 1693 or 1699 editions. 
(His public school education at Rugby would doubtless have 
included Latin.) Obviously, the contact possibilities 
discussed above regarding Rosen apply equally to Wallis. 

I believe that Wallis's Treatise of Algebra is 
probably the source of the Jabberwock; secondarily, 
Nesselmann 's Die Algebra der Greichen may be the source. 
What does al-Jabr w'al-Muqabalah mean? 

While there is great variety in the terms used to 
translate this into English, the concept is simple. The terms 
refer to steps used to solve an algebraic equation. Al-jabr 
means "to repair a defect". The ancient concept was that a 
negative term on one side of an equation was a defect. The 
defect was repaired by adding the same term to both sides 
of the equation, thus canceling the negative. Al-muqabalah 
means to confront, in the sense of face-to-face matching. 
Thus, equal terms on both sides of an equation are matched 
and eliminated by subtracting them from both sides. 

I suggest that Lewis Carroll's source for 
Jabberwock is Al-gjdbr W'al-mokdbala as it appeared in — 

• Wallis's 1685 Treatise of Algebra; 

• Wallis's 1693 De Algebra Tractatus; 

• Wallis's 1695 Opera Mathematica, v. 2; or 

• Nesselmann 's 1842 Die Algebra der Greichen. 

1 Copyright © 200 1 Alan Martin. All rights reserved. 

2 David Bergamini et al. , Mathematics, New York: Time-Life Books, 

3 Khowarizm is the modern Khiva, on the old silk road, at the western 
border of Uzbekistan. 

4 Barnabas B. Hughes, Robert of Chester's Latin Translation of 
al-Khwarizmi's al-Jabr: a New Critical Edition, Stuttgart: Franz 
Steiner Verlag Wiesbaden, 1989, at 14-15, 23, 29. 

5 Harvard mathematics professor Robert Kaplan says the same. 
Robert Kaplan, The Nothing That Is: a Natural History of Zero, 
New York: Oxford University Press, 2000, at 98. Prof. Victor 
Korenman, of the University of Maryland, calling my attention to 
Kaplan's book, pointed out that Mr. Martin Gardner issued a very 
favorable review of this book (it appears on the jacket); Gardner is 
also mentioned in Kaplan's acknowledgements. 

6 See the Oxford English Dictionary, 2d ed., Oxford: Clarenden 
Press, 1989 (OED). 

7 Lewis Carroll, The Annotated Alice, the Definitive Edition, Martin 
Gardner, ed., New York: W. W. Norton & Co., Inc., 2000 (hereinafter, 
"Annotated Alice"). 

8 The OED does not cite other than Lewis Carroll's poem as the 
source of "jabberwock". "'Jabberwock': The name of the fabulous 
monster in Lewis Carroll's poem 'Jabberwocky'. Hence in allusive 
and extended uses, esp. incoherent or nonsensical expression." 

9 Friedrich August Rosen, The Algebra of Mohammed ben Musa, 
London: 2 volumes in 1 . Printed for the Oriental Translation Fund and 
sold by J. Murray, et al., 1 83 1 (hereinafter, "Rosen"). 

10 Annotated Alice, note 16 at 148. 

11 Hildesheim-Zurich-New York: Georg Olms Verlag, 1986. This is a 
facsimile of the 1 83 1 London edition that is in the Erlangen-Numberg 
University Library (call no. Mth III 536). The title page of the Arabic 
transcription bears the date 1830, whereas the title page of the English 
translation, although bound in the same volume, bears the date 1831, 
hence, the dual volume. It is unclear whether the notes belong to the 
1 830 part or the 1 83 1 part, although the pagination suggests that they 
belong to the 1 83 1 part. 

12 Rosen, at 5. 

13 "wa al" (meaning "and the") is sometimes contracted to "w'al" 
and sometimes to "wa'l" in transliterations. 

14 Hughes, op. cit., at 9, 1 1, 22-27. 

15 G. H. F. Nesselmann, Die Algebra der Greichen, being part I of 
Versuch einer Kritischen Geschichte der Algebra, Berlin: Reimer, 
1842, reprinted (apparently a facsimile), Frankfurt: Minerva GMBH 

16 Id. n. 21 at 47. 

1 7 

Observe that the variations al-jabr and al-jebr were already noted 
by Nesselmann. 

18 Wing W613; LOC control no. 26005789, call no. QA33.W3 (rare 
book coll.); reproduced Ann Arbor: University Microfilms Inter- 
national, Early English Books, 1641 1700, microfilm 05018, reel 
854, doc. 14. 

Johannis Wallis, De Algebra Tractatus; Historicus & Practicus, 
1693, reprinted as v. II of Wallis, Opera Mathematica, University 
of Oxford (?) and Sheldonian Theater, 1699 (Wing (2d ed.) W566, 
LOC control no. 41041246, call no. QA33.W25 (rare book coll.). 


Here is the Latin: 

"Arabibus dicitur^/-g/fl6r Wal-mukdbala; indeque ab il lis ad 
nos devenit nomen Algebrae. Arabibus, Verbum g 'abara (eo 
sono quern Itali scriberent gjdbara, Angli jabara,) significat 
Restituere seu redintegrare; & speciatim dici iolet de fractis 
Ossibus aut luxatis, in justum ordinem restituendis: (estque affine 
Hebrao verbo Gabar, quod est Fortem esse.) indeque descendit 
Nomen Al-gjdbr. Verbum kdbala (undeque descendit Nomen 
al-mukdbala) significat (apud Arabes) Opponere, comparare, 
aut contraponere, seu ex adversoponere. Adeoque illorum/1/- 
gjdbr Wal-mukdbala, tantundem erit atque, Ars Restitutionis 
& Comparationis, seu contra-positionis; aut etiam, Ars 
Resolutions & Aeuationis. Et quidem Lucas de Burgo (ex 
Algebristis Europaeis editis, omnium quos scio antiquissimus) 
Restitutionis & Oppositionis Regulam interpretatur. Aut etiam 
si gjdbara interpretemur componere, & kabala interpretemur 
opponere seu contrariari; non male exponas al-gjdbr a'al- 
mokdbala, per Compositionem ejusque contrarium; hoc est 
Synthesin & Analysin." (Emphases added.) 

The Latin closely follows the English (adding the Italian form 
gjdbara), but in the Latin a point is added at the end of the quoted 
English paragraph, which I translate as: 

Or even, if we may interpret gjdbara as "compose", and we 
may interpret kabala as "oppose" (or "of the contrary"), it is not 
bad to explain al-gjdbr w 'al-mukdbala as "Composition and its 
Contrary"; this is "Synthesis and Analysis". 

[Some of the diacritical marks in the transliteration from 
the Arabic have been lost in the conversion to PageMaker. 

The above article is a summary of a finely wrought piece 
of research, whose original form is about four times the 
present length. The editor wishes to thank Mr. Martin for 
his kind cooperation during this painful condensing and 
editing process, and sincerely wishes him the best in 
finding an outlet for the entire work.] 


Hereupon they presently rake up some 
dunghill for a few dirty boxes and plasters, 
and of toasted cheese and candles' ends 
temper up a few ointments or syrups. 
Thomas Nashe 

The Terrors of the Night, 1594 
[modernized spelling and my italics] 

The celebration of the lizard 

[The totemic poem by James Douglas "Jim" 
Morrison (1943-1971) , self-styled "Lizard 
King" appeared on the Doors' "Absolutely Live' 
album in 1970. Excerpts /oIIou»:l 

One morning he awoke in a green hotel 
With a strange creature groaning beside him. 
Sweat oozed from its shiny skin. 
Is everybody in? The ceremony is about to 

Wake up! You can't remember where it was. 
Had this dream stopped? 

Now, run to the mirror in the bathroom, 

I can't live thru each slow century of her 

Once I had a little game 
I liked to crawl back into my brain 
I think you know the game I mean 
I mean the game called 'go insane' 
Now you should try this little game 
Just close your eyes forget your name 

Rugs silent, mirrors vacant, 

Don't stop to speak or look around 
Your gloves & fan are on the ground 

Nothing left to do, but 
Run, run, run 
Let's run 

Some outlaws lived by the side of a lake 
The minister's daughter's in love with the 

We came down 
The rivers 

More Contemporary Reviews and Notices of 
Sylvie and Bruno and Sylvie and Bruno Concluded 

by August A. Imholtz, Jr. and Clare Imholtz 

We have recently discovered the following 
contemporary British and American reviews which were 
not included in the two installments of reviews of these 
problematical novels published in the Knight Letter, nos. 
62 and 63. 

The Speaker . A Review of Politics, Letters, Science and 
the Arts. Vol. I, no. 2. Jan. 11, 1890 


1. Sylvie and Bruno. By Lewis Carroll. London: Macmillan 
and Co. 1889. 

2. A Yankee at the Court of King Arthur. By Mark Twain 
(Samuel L. Clemens). London: Chatto and Windus. 1889. 

Mr. Lewis Carroll's new book commences with a 
long and interesting preface. This is not, he says, written 
for money — the price is stated on the title-page to be "Three 
Half-Crowns," but perhaps seven separate shillings and one 
sixpence would be accepted — nor is it written for fame. It 
is to amuse children; and it is to do more than that. It is 
intended to suggest to them, and to others, thoughts "not 
wholly out of harmony with the graver cadences of life." It 
is true, as the author points out, that grave thoughts will break 
in upon our gaiety; and the converse of his axiom is equally 
true, yet few preachers encourage the practice of laughing 
in church. Of course the question is not whether grave and 
gay, religious and humorous, mix themselves in our minds. 
We ask rather if it is advisable to print and publish the 
mixture. The answer is obvious: that it depends very much 
upon the skill with which the mixture is made. In this case it 
is composed of many ingredients. The author is writing for 
children, but he does not forget those others. So he adds to 
the "acceptable nonsense for children" — and very acceptable 
nonsense some of it is — a love-story of the most fatuous 
sentimentality, which, we suppose, is for the adult. Next we 
have such scraps of conversation as the following: — 

'"I mean, if we consider thoughts as factors, may we not say 

that the least common multiple of all the minds contains that 

of all the books, but not the other way?' 

'"Certainly we may! ' I replied, delighted with the illustration." 
Now we can understand why Mr. Lewis Carroll was 
delighted with the illustration; but neither the child nor the 
ordinary adult will go wild over it. Perhaps it is intended for 
that which is not child, neither is altogether adult; which 
lives at Oxford, is sometimes addicted to mathematics, and 
is called an undergraduate. But the book is not merely a 
mixture of acceptable nonsense, fatuous love-story, and 
illustrative mathematics. Some of it is devout, and some of 
it is polemical. It is a pity that an author of such tenderness 
and gentleness as Mr. Lewis Carroll should have to be 
polemical. His love for children, the playfulness of his 
humour, his real sympathy with all that are afflicted or 
oppressed, make his spitefulness seem by contrast the more 
spiteful. It is that very sympathy — sympathy with hunted 
animals — which makes him so fierce against sport. It is 
impossible to defend sport in all its forms, but if one wishes 

to be perfectly just, one must weigh the pleasure of man 
against the suffering of the beast; and, to do this, one must 
be a scientific naturalist, and must be, or have been, a good 
sportsman: we have yet to learn that Mr. Lewis Carroll is 
either. But his attack on Ritualism is more spiteful and less 
justifiable. He complains of the dangers to young chorister, 
and thinks that they will become self-conscious coxcombs 
from being continually en evidence. Were those children 
any less en evidence who took part in the dramatic 
representation of a book with which Mr. Lewis Carroll 
should be tolerably familiar — seeing that he wrote it? If — 
to put an imaginary case — we knew as much about ordinary 
churches as he thinks he knows about the stage, he would be 
aware that at least as much care is taken for the chorister as 
for the infant phenomenon. We have heard too much of 
clerical virulence lately; and it seems rather hard that books 
for children should be made a vehicle for the spite of a sect 
which began by detesting everything that it thought to be 
wrong, and which has ended by thinking to be wrong 
everything that it detests. 

So Mr. Lewis Carroll blends fatuous love-story 
with fierce polemics; and wears the cap and bells without 
discarding the cap and gown. He is as one who passes rapidly 
from key to key, and frequently without modulations. But 
we still find some of the charm of the author's earlier work. 
The story which Bruno told to the frogs is delightful. The 
song of the mad gardener is full of free and breezy humour; 
but "Peter and Paul" is not so good. Sylvie is one of the 
most exquisite little maidens that ever won the heart of a 
reader. It is to the illustrations rather than to the text that 
the highest praise must be given. They are full of the most 
perfect appreciation of the delicate grace of childhood. 
Perhaps the best of them is that which represents Sylvie 
comforting Bruno, on page 307; but they are all charming. 
We do not think that Mr. Harry Furniss has ever done 
anything better, and this is saying a great deal. The book 
owes much to its artist. 

Yet its defects might be easily remedied. In the next 
edition let the nonsense be printed in the ordinary black 
ink, and the rest of the book in red. The red would denote 
danger to the reader. Or green ink might be used to signify 
that Mr. Lewis Carroll was becoming uncommonly slow. 
Perhaps the rest of the book might be omitted altogether, 
and the price reduced to "Two Half-crowns," as it would 
then be styled on the title-page, or to the five shillings of 
more ordinary commerce. 

Mark Twain is also somewhat affected by the Spirit 
of his Time, which is didactic; and by the Spirit of his Nation, 
which is inventive, but not refined. Mr. Lewis Carroll is far 
beyond Mr. Clemens in points of delicacy and taste; but it 
may be doubted whether any English author of repute would 
have tried to win a laugh by an irreverent treatment of the 
Holy Grail, as Mr. Clemens has done in "A Yankee at the 
Court of King Arthur." [Further review of Yankee omitted.) 
The American, Feb. 1, 1890. Vol. 19, no. 495 

Lewis Carrroll is about the completest example 
of a one-book writer, or at least of a one-book reputation, 


that could be named. In saying this we compute "Alice in 
Wonderland" and "Through the Looking-Glass" as a single 
work, as they are practically one. But ever since that admitted 
hit Mr. Carroll has been making efforts all in vain to reengage 
attention. They have been singularly wild efforts. That 
labored piece of humorous verse, "The Hunting of the 
Snark," was more of a task to read than it could have been to 
write, and the public had no patience with it. In "A Tangled 
Skein"[y/c]. Mr. Carroll set himself to teaching mathematics 
under a thin guise of story-telling, and a more disastrous 
result we do not remember, unless it was Mr. Blackmore's 
"History of Tommy Upmore," which will probably remain 
for living men the high-water mark of inconsequent narrative. 
We need not specify Mr. Carroll's other failures, yet it is 
the fact that so deep was the impression made by his creation, 
for it was no less, of "Alice in Wonderland" and its sequel, 
that interest has been felt in every fresh announcement from 
the same quarter, and despite disappointments sufficient to 
prove that there was no reasonable expectation of having 
the early success repeated. 

Yet another book by Mr. Carroll is now to be 
recorded, and one which he oddly tells us is as original as 
"Alice" was, but in no manner like that book. But readers 
will hardly agree with the author. "Sylvie and Bruno" may 
not be a conscious revamping of the old idea, but it is so in 
fact, with the painful difference that in the working over of 
old materials the charm and absurdity have largely 
evaporated. Moreover "Alice" was just what it pretended to 
be, and nothing else, a piece of entertaining nonsense for 
children and older folks with young hearts; "Sylvie and 
Bruno" is a complicated excursion in mental philosophy, in 
which we are allegorically "taught" all sorts of things, and 
in which the topsy-turveydom of fairyland marches along, 
not incongruously, — for that is allowable and enjoyable, — 
but foolishly, with realities of no interest whatever. The 
preface sets the self-respecting reader against the book 
from the outset; in it we are told not to regard this wholly as 
a book of thoughtless nonsense, but to look out for hidden 
meanings; but when the time comes, there is no meaning 
discernible, unless by harder work than any author has a right 
to demand of his followers, while the nonsense seems 
pumped up and is not the hearty, spontaneous article. 
Certainly, there are quaintness, happy touches of fancy and 
frolic in the book but it is on the whole a painful attempt to 
be amusing. Much of it taken at a time induces a kind of 
vertigo, — though that is what the eccentric Mr. Carroll may 
have contemplated. If we must say whether or not it is to be 
preferred to "A Tangled Skein", one might declare it superior 
to that humorous demonstration of the squaring of the circle, 
but further than that we have no mind to go. ~ G.W.A. 
The Literary World . Vol. 21, no. 4. Feb. 15, 1890 

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, and Through 
the Looking-Glass, have not found their equal in Mr. 
Dodgson's latest volume. There is material enough in Sylvie 
and Bruno, in the way of the curious and the quaint, to 
furnish forth another book almost as delightful, if not as 
novel, as the Alice volumes; but Lewis Carroll's present 

method of composition can hardly attain unity of effect 
except by accident. His garrulous preface tells us all about 
the way in which the book was put together out of odds and 
ends of thought which had been jotted down during ten years; 
the story was made with difficulty to incorporate all his 
miscellaneous material, and as a story it is a failure. It passes 
to and fro, without warning, from the adventures of the two 
children in Outland to their experiences in Fairy-land, and 
to a remarkably weak love story of human beings. The 
moralizing at the end of the preface is painfully superficial; 
the attack on the Ritualists in the course of the story is very 
much out of place, as is the attempted ridicule of schools 
of modern thought with which the amiable author is poorly 
fitted to cope. 

In general, one may say that when Lewis Carroll is 
serious, he is distressing to a thoughtful reader, and he is 
serious too often in this volume. But when he is content to 
follow his own whimsical vein, he is very delightful still; 
and though Sylvie and Bruno is hard reading enough in some 
places, it will be a fascinating book to lovers of its more 
artistic predecessors. Every chapter provokes smiles and 
laughter at its abundant odd conceits. The Doctor in the first 
chapter, for example is so very learned that he actually 
"invented three new diseases, besides a new way of breaking 
your collar-bone." The Professor, too, had invented a new 
kind of "boots for horizontal weather... the tops of which 
were open umbrellas." "If ever it rained horizontally, you 
know," he says, "they would be invaluable — simply 

Sylvie and Bruno are charming children, the first 
in her sweetness, the second in his unfailing argument and 
his odd logic. "Oftens and oftens," he says to Sylvie, "haven't 
oo told me, 'There mustn't be so much noise, Bruno!' when 
I've tolded oo "There must!' Why, there isn't no rules at all 
about 'There mustn't.' but oo never believes me!" His story 
of the crocodile which was put into the Professor's 
shortening machine, is very funny: "'If oo puts in — 
somefinoruver — at one end, oo knows — and he turns the 
handle — and it comes out at the uwer end, oh, ever so short.' 
'As short as short,' Sylvie echoed." But when it was 
lengthened out again, Bruno saw it walk "all the way along 
its back. And it walked, and it walked on its forehead. And it 
walked a tiny little way down its nose!" 

Sobriety, the Professor demonstrates, "is a very 
good thing when practiced in moderation but even sobriety, 
when carried to an extreme,''' has its "lizard bandages" as 
Bruno calls them. The Gardener, who gets up "wriggle-early" 
at a small hour in the morning, is the poet of the volume, as 
in these touching lines: 

"He thought he saw a Banker's Clerk..." [etc.] 

With two specimens of the Professors' wisdom 
we must conclude our notice of this highly amusing book. 
"Why," says the Professor, "should Bruno go to bed at once?" 
"Because he can't go at twice," said the Other Professor. 
The Professor has an new invention which "wants just a little 
more working out... for carrying one's-se//, you know." 
Won't that be very tiring, to carry yourself?" Sylvie inquired. 

"Well, no, my child. You see, whatever fatigue one incurs 
by carrying, one saves by being carried." 
The Atlantic Monthly . Vol. LXV. May 1890 
Sylvie and Bruno, by Lewis Carroll (Macmillan), is a 
charmingly ingenious story for young folks. It is not quite 
equal to Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, but it is not 
given to mortals to write two books as delightful as that. 
The Dial . A Semi-Monthly Journal of Literary Criticism, 
Discussion and Information. Vol. XVI, no. 186. March 16, 

"Lewis Carroll" has just published "Sylvie and 
Bruno Concluded" (Macmillan) in a volume illustrated, as 
was its predecessor, by Mr. Harry Furniss. Since the author 
informs us that he never reads the published criticisms of 
his writings he, at least, will bear us no grudge for saying 
that the new volume is far from being worthy of the best 
writer of nonsense in the English language. In spite of such 
verses as, 

"He thought he saw an Argument. . ." [etc.] 
which occasionally enliven the pages, there is a sad decline 
from the story of Alice, and even from the first volume of 
the work now concluded. We imagine it will be caviare to 
most children, and will find its most interested readers 
among adults. 

Book Reviews : A Monthly Journal Devoted to New and 
Current Publication. March 1894. Vol. 1, no. 11 
Sylvie and Bruno Concluded. 

Lewis Carroll's genius for piquant and wholesome 
drollery has never been seen to better advantage than in his 
inimitable chronicle of the doings of the most lovable 
creatures, Sylvie and Bruno, whose adventures are now still 
further revealed in a delightful book called "Sylvie and 
Bruno Concluded." The narrative is full of entertaining 
surprises, charming incidents, rollicking, good-natured fun, 
amusing anecdotes, and bewildering changes, all so deftly 
arranged that they [all] fall into a very naturally unnatural 
sequence, and all permeated with the most admirable 
common-sense, for Lewis Carroll is never in happier vein 
than when he is showing people how utterly absurd they often 
are. Sylvie and Bruno monopolize the greater part of the 
present volume, but the Professor and the Gardener both 
appear at intervals, and towards the end one meets the Other 
Professor. The preface, in which the author undertakes to 
expound the psychological conditions of the imaginary 
world where Sylvie and Bruno dwelt, is quite worth reading, 
and some people will even condescend to get a good deal 
of enjoyment out of the index. The book is one that may be 
taken up at any time and opened anywhere with the assurance 
that it will pay its way in liberal measure, heaped up and 
running over; and it is a volume that children will simply 
feast upon. Harry Furniss has supplied forty-six illustrations 
which are to be reckoned among the best things he has ever 
done. ~ The Beacon. 

[Editors' note: Book Reviews was published by Macmillan. 



What better way to celebrate our Society 
than to see the joy on a child's face as she is 
given her very own copy of Alice 's Adven- 
tures in Wonderland? The Maxine Schaefer 
Memorial Readings feature fine recitations, 
and end by giving each child his or her own 
copy of the works. This event took place in 
Meredith Davis' classroom in P.S. 41 in 
New York City on April 21st of this year 
and starred Patt Griffin and Paul Hamilton 
in the Alice and Humpty Dumpty scene. 


Alice as Sibyl: Mystery of the Dead Leaves 

Chloe Nichols, Ph.D. 

It is natural that Alice is rarely studied for its 
content of classical mythology. Other allusions — nursery 
tales, Victorian society, nursery rhymes — are obviously 
so much more prominent. Yet exploring classic myth 
incorporated in Alice will reveal a rich underlayer of classic 
symbolism, a symbolism familiar to Charles Dodgson 
because inherent in Oxford's humanistic studies. After all, 
the symbol of the university, and one of Wonderland's most 
charming characters, is the Gryphon. The track begins at a 
point where the two books converge, the dead leaves of 
Wonderland and the bonfire of branches (sticks) in Looking 

What's wrong with this picture — this lyrical 
spring scene closing Alice's Adventures in Wonderland 1 ? 
She "found herself lying on the bank, with her head in the 
lap of her sister, who was gently brushing away some dead 
leaves that had fluttered down from the trees upon her face." 
The word "dead" does not appear in Alice's Adventures 
under Ground. The sentence says, in Dodgson's printing, 
". . .and found herself lying on the bank, with her head in the 
lap of her sister, who was gently brushing away some leaves 
that had fluttered down from the trees on to her face." That 
is, the wording is exactly the same, except for the insertion 
of "dead" and the unimportant substitution of "upon" for 
"on to". Where do these dead leaves come from — in the 
month of May? They cannot be unimportant, for it is their 
deadness which releases them to blow over Alice, and in 
her dream, they are the attacking forces of her antagonist, 
the Queen of Hearts. By extrapolation, the Queen can 
become a symbol of death itself, and the King, who pardons 
all, and the Gryphon, who reveals the Queen's power as a 
sham, become forces of life. Incidentally, the motifs of this 
symbolism obscure it, for game cards and royalty and a 
mythological monster are hardly compatible. 

Critic Peter Coveney 1 notices the importance of 
this anomaly, fall leaves in a May setting: "The juxtaposition 
of waking and the image of the dead leaves is no casual 
coincidence. Carroll's art was too carefully organized for 
it not to have some special reference of feeling. It has all 
the force of a poetic continuity, a felt development... "To 
Coveney, the leaves mark a turning point where control of 
the text transfers from violently antic Carrollian tone to 
the conventional sentimentalities of the closing passage. 
Still, the most valuable point in these comments is the 
reminder that Carroll's dynamic text, purposeful and packed 
with energy, requires constant vigilance. Look away; you'll 
miss something. For example, why is it that in a natural May 
farm scene, presented in faithful detail, the leaves are in 
fact, the leaves of autumn? And Carroll seems consciously 
to have made the choice. In the earliest form, the 
presentation manuscript to Alice Liddell, and the published 
under Ground version, they are "some leaves that had 
fluttered down to her face" — natural enough not to break 
the springtime mood. Yet somewhere before the final form, 
Carroll introduces "dead", a word at odds with the dreamy 

bucolic scene. Like Coveney, I do not think it got there by 

Although Coveney sees in "dead leaves" hints of 
betrayed innocence and autumnal decay — a "babes in the 
wood" touch — I believe another, more complex symbolic 
meaning may also be attached, connecting the story to the 
Greek prophetic tradition of the Sibyl. 

In mythology, Sibyls were holy women, prophetic 
devotees of Apollo. Deep in sacred caverns, they received 
knowledge of the future from him directly, but in such 
incoherent form that, usually, two translators were required 
to render the message coherent. They were sent into trances 
by steamy fumes Apollo released into the caves. In the 
unstable, volcanic Mount Avernus region of Italy of which 
Virgil wrote, a cave could forcibly vent large quantities of 
underground steam. In fact, unscrupulous priests of Apollo 
made a handsome profit on the process. One such woman, 
the Cumaean Sibyl, Deiphobe, appears in Virgil's ALneid. The 
refugee from the Trojan war who brought the best of his 
civilization to Italy, ^Eneas has generally been accounted in 
literature, the founder of Rome. 

Virgil has Deiphobe guide ^Eneas — just as later 
Dante will make Virgil his other-worldly guide — when he 
journeys through the Underworld (a realm comprising both 
Heaven and Hell) searching for his dead father, Anchises, 
who will foretell the future of his line. Alice, of course, 
like the Sibyl, journeys through a mysterious realm 
underground. Both are associated with the underground, and 
tunnels. Deiphobe lives in a manmade cavern with "a hundred 
broad tunnels" reaching the outside world, and her 
prophecies can emerge by any of them. Interestingly, like 
Alice, the Sibyl's "mien was suddenly altered" and she 
"seemed to grow" when she gave her prophecies. Normally 
she merely pronounces from within, but £sneas enlists her 
help, and she befriends this son of Aphrodite until he has 
completed his trip to Hades. She is also familiar with the 
rough caves leading to Hades, since she had been there 
before. And here again leaves come into things. For 
Deiphobe knows that the Underworld will not admit ^neas 
unless it is placated by a golden bough of leaves sacred to 
Persephone, and taken from the a particular tree growing in 
woods nearby. 

Then where do dead leaves come into it? 

In Book Six of the Alneid, Virgil mentions the 
legend that, unlike most Sibyls, Deiphobe recorded her 
prophecies herself, writing them on the leaves which from 
time to time swept into her cave. She is an ancient woman, 
but no hermit. She conducts worship ceremonies and 
sacrifices, can prophesy in normal voice or ecstasy — 
tineas witnesses both acts — and has an inexhaustible 
knowledge of the divine world. Legend had it that Deiphobe 
keeps her inscribed leaves for some time, but when winds 
in the cave blow them out of a tunnel entrance, she allows 
them to scatter through the world as they will. For this reason 
iEneas begs the rare favor of having her speak to him both 
directly and coherently. 

Charles Dodgson must have been familiar with 


John Dryden's famous translation of the JEneid, which 
contains the relevant passage in Book VI. ^Eneas is alone 
with the Sybil and speaking to her directly. He tells her not 
to use garbled phrases or write upon leaves that fly away, 
this time. As the child of a goddess, he is probably assuming 
special privilege. 

. . .0! commit not thy prophetic mind 

To flitting leaves, the sport of ev'ry wind, 

Lest they disperse in air our empty fate; 

Write not, but, what the pow'rs ordain, relate. . ." 

A more modern version of the passage, translated 
by Patric Dickinson, reads: 

Do not commit your prophecies to leaves, 

Lest they become the mock and sport of the whirl 

Of the wind. Speak with your mouth, I beg you!" 

The flying (flitting) leaves, then, which will 
"disperse in air" an unknown fate, are very well suggested 
by the drift of leaves that wake Alice. Since Alice, like 
Deiphobe, is a special creature associated with a strange 
underground place (cave/rabbit hole) and like her, wandered 
in an underworld, she is substantially connected to the Sibyl. 
It also seems a pleasant literary conceit that the awakened 
Alice immediately does what ^Eneas commands Deiphobe 
— she relates clearly her adventures. After this, her sister 
experiences a prophetic moment in which she visualizes 
Alice's future. Although the elements in the Alice story do 
not exactly replicate the JEneid passage, there is enough 
duplication, I believe, to establish a deliberate allusion, and 
make the suggestion that, along with the more frequent 
frames of allusive reference — classical mythology is 
also present in this text. 

In Western literature, of course, the powerful 
feminine guide, and indeed, the inspirational lady of courtly 
love, has long been a recognized fixture. Because the JEneid 
was so widely known and highly regarded, a large number 
of beatified and powerful female guides can trace their roots 
to Deiphobe. Dante has Beatrice in the Middle Ages; 
Petrarch has Laura in the Renaissance. After the onset of 
the Renaissance, romantic love was part of the (from-a- 
distance) relationship. In this context, it is interesting that 
Carroll seems to give Alice very much the honor due to the 
courtly lady. Certainly the White Knight regards her in this 
light, and the Knight is often taken as a personification of 
Carroll himself. In the tone of the preface and closing 
poems, this reverence is openly displayed, and Carroll offers 
her his story to keep "Like pilgrim's withered wreath of 
flowers", the traditional offering of a supplicant to a saint. 
Given the half-holy reverence accorded to little girls in 
Victorian times, the transfer of the courtly lady's regard to 
a child, seems reasonable. 

Of course, Wonderland is rich in allusions to other 
stories and traditions — nursery rhymes, fairy tales, 
Victorian society. Greek mythology must take a back seat 
in Alice. It does not come up very much. The Gryphon, for 
example, is a Greek monster, but probably he appears in 
connection with his office as Oxford's mascot. Alice Liddell 
would certainly remember, in hearing his episode, the 
Gryphon adorning the gates of Oxford. The mythical witch, 

Circe, comes to mind as Alice as she struggles with the 
baby/pig, but the connection is only a distant one. Alice is a 
bystander, not a witch, and she does not effect the 
transformation, which troubles her. Another possible mythic 
allusion might be to Persephone, kidnapped while picking 
flowers, since Alice is led underground while dreaming of 
flowers. Yet again, unlike Persephone, Alice is not 
physically desired, does not become queen (of Wonderland), 
does not starve herself, does not inspire maternal fury for 
her return - — quite the opposite. She is only asleep. That 
is, aside from the dead leaf incident, other possible allusions 
to mythology are slight, almost coincidental. Their 
importance lies in their ability, by reinforcing each other, 
to establish a minor mood, in the semi-mythic, semi- 
pastoral style popular at the time. 

However, their restricted nature is valuable for 
another purpose, revealing a facet of Carroll's narrative 
style. Two salient movements are always present in that style. 
The first is the foregrounded proliferation of various sub- 
narratives, incorporated and often anatomized by 
commentary from the characters. For example, everyone at 
the March Hare's table has a go at the Dormouse's treacle 
well story. 

Internally, however, most of these narratives teeter 
just this side of dissolution. Like the mouse-tail poem, the 
story is always narrowing toward non-existence. The energy 
which most characters bring to their criticism has a 
desperate, shoring-up quality. In this, Carroll is like the 
minimalist painter whose blurring style is ever encouraging 
the viewer to greater participation, forcing from the nearly- 
incomprehensible, a cosmos and not a chaos. Carroll seems 
to be reaching for the boundary that reason cannot cross — 
the outer limit of coherence. Thus we have the eventless, 
dark life of the treacle well, the scrambled pronouns making 
gibberish of the Knave of Hearts' poem in the trial scene. 
More subtly, the same effort goes into mythological 
references, I feel. Here meaning doubles back on itself, so 
that external harmony only underscores internal tension. 

Once again, the Sybil's story is useful as a metaphor 
for this effort. For Deiphobe speaks to ^Eneas in two 
distinctly different manners. When /Eneas asks, "Speak with 
your mouth, I beg you," "of their own accord the hundred 
doors / Of the shrine swung open", (tr. Dickinson) and the 
inspired answers come clearly and coherently, as she breaks 
into prophecy of the immediate future. Yet Apollo is at the 
same time seeking to possess her deeply, and soon "she 
raved / So deep was his spur driven in her heart". She is "in 
a frenzy," and her mouth "was possessed by madness" (tr. 
Dickinson). Coincidentally, this alternation suggests how 
easily Carrollian characters lapse into their many frenzies. 

Carroll's tendency to narrative dissolution carries 
over to other mythic allusions. Though superficial 
similarities liken Alice to Greek figures, deeper rifts deny 
the likeness. Although drawn into the Underworld like 
Persephone, Alice is the opposite of the resisting, self- 
starving goddess — Alice pursues, Alice eats her fill. The 
baby may transform in her arms, but she cannot be Circe 


because she lacks magic power, and because unlike the 
witch, she has considerable sympathy. And of course, as for 
Deiphobe, Alice cannot be a guide since she is wholly 
ignorant of the country she passes through. All this is only 
to repeat what has been often noticed, that Carroll destroys 
at one level what he builds up at another. 

Always, in his work, an exuberant, frantic under- 
current of chaos flows counter to the expected tide of event. 
It never stops. This unrelenting resistance, I believe, 
accounts for the powerful energies consistently present — 
the same sort of energies revealed in his own illustrations 
of Wonderland. Metaphorically, an ever-present Sibyl can 
always speak from two sides of her mouth. The effect on 
the reader is to be impressed into pursuit — of a Snark 
which is always retreating and always on the verge of 
transforming to a Boojum, dragging us along into its own 
dissolution. In turn, this effect comments on the way we 
understand, desire to understand, and fail to understand, any 
flood of human events. 

Let me return to the original fall of leaves, 
supposing an alignment between Alice and Deiphobe. In fact, 
Alice and her sister are equally involved with the leaves. 
They simply fall over the little girl while she is entranced 
(asleep) , and the sister, the conscious one, brushes them 
away — rejects them. As with the Sibyl, Alice speaks, but 
does not write, her account of her journey, and it is the sister 
who shows prophetic power by foreseeing Alice's life to 
come. Implicit in the scene, as I will discuss soon, is the 
fact that, as with Deiphobe, one set of events is present in 
two forms — the story of Wonderland in Wonderland, 
which the reader knows already, and the same story retold 
in the waking world, which Alice tells her sister. 

Here is an interesting impasse. The reader does 
not know the story Alice tells, and the sister does not know 
what really happened in the dream. But nothing that the reader 
knows would engender the sister's highly conventional 
prophecy of Alice's future. The sister foresees Alice's 
motherhood — when in Wonderland did Alice behave as a 
mother? The sister, in fact, takes and re-shapes segments of 
Alice's story, by supposing that its incidents have been 
sparked by the sounds of the farm. But these connections 
are thin and unconvincing. I am left with the conclusion that 
although the tale Alice tells (and we don't directly hear) is 
her waking version of the truth, the dreaming truth was quite 
otherwise. That is, one narrative is existing in two strikingly 
divergent forms, in two separate worlds — though Alice 
doesn't notice the discrepancy. And one of those forms will 
engender a further narrative. Again, and tortuously, Carroll 
is teasing narrative through these complexities of viewpoint 
to the verge of self-destruction. 

Despite this rift, however, the narrative(s) have a 
positive power over the two characters who share them — 
to overcome self-absorption and renew an affectionate bond 
in a setting of pastoral regeneration. This bonding capacity 
may be the attraction that causes Wonderland characters, 
mostly asocial, to treasure narratives so dearly. As a general 
rule, the more socialized the character — as Bill the Lizard 

or the King of Hearts — the less likely to tell stories. 
Passing on stories, even familiar ones, becomes a link. Each 
character's repertoire seems to be common knowledge. As 
to bonding, her sister becomes identified with Alice because 
she is empowered by Alice to foresee the child's future. 
Since the journey to the Underworld taken by JEneas and 
the Sybil also ends in a highly significant passage of 
prophecy, the founding and history of Rome, that is another 
allusive quality. The passage also reinforces Alice's 
preference for the visual and conversational world over text 
alone, with Eneas' words, "write not". 

To conclude: dead leaves alone would be perhaps 
too slight a connection to establish a parallel between Alice 
and Deiphobe, except that other points of their histories 
also coincide. For Deiphobe too goes underground, as a 
guide for ^Eneas, who is seeking further prophecy from his 
dead father. It is Deiphobe who first mentions the Golden 
Bough (of leaves) which ^Eneas must find and offer to 
Persephone, Queen of the Underworld, and Deiphobe who 
walks beside him as he travels through the horrors and 
delights of that strange realm. For Deiphobe, like Alice, 
has a purpose for her journey, represents Apollo (clarity 
and reason) in a confused world, and, purpose accomplished, 
returns permanently to the world above. There the Sibyl, 
and likewise Alice, stirs a prophecy of the future. 

Although these speculations do little to explain 
Carroll's major purposes, maybe they serve usefully to 
remind us again of Coveney's point, that "Carroll's art was 
too carefully organized for ... [omitting] reference of 
feeling. It has all the force of a poetic continuity." However 
slight, no detail can safely be overlooked — the work is 
too well-crafted for that. 

1 . Coveney, Peter. "Escape" from Poor Monkey, Barrie & Rockliff, 
1957. Republished as The Image of Childhood, Penguin, 1967. 
Reprinted in the Norton Critical Edition of A W, 1 97 1 and 1 992. 


Addenda, Errata, Corrigenda, & IHuminata 

My sincerest apologies to my friend Marilyn 
Barnett, whose surname I continually misremember in these 
pages as "Barnes". She is the talented musician collaborating 
on the AW opera (KL 66 p. 17). 

The review of Juliet Dusinberre's book Alice to 
the Lighthouse : Children 's Books and Radical Exper- 
iments in Art {KL 66, p.21) is described as if it were a new 
work. In fact it is a reprint, first published in 1987 by St 
Martin's Press. 


Leaves from the Deanery Garden 

I was re-reading Winnie-the-Pooh recently (as one does 
with great books!) and discovered that the wise Owl of the 
stories lives at "The Chestnuts", which was the name of the 
Guildford residence that Lewis Carroll bought for his sisters. 
A nice little coincidence I thought. 

Owl's door even has Carrollian signs out the front: 
"Underneath the knocker there was a notice which said: PLES 
RING IF AN RNSER IS REQIRD. Underneath the bell-pull 
there was a notice which said: PLEZ CNOKE IF A RNSR IS 

Debora Caputo 

See Chapter IV "In Which Eeyore Loses a Tail and Pooh 
Finds One". 

I want to thank you for coming to my defense on [KL 66 
p.9]. It has gotten a bit depressing to have people pointing 
their fingers at me and yelling 
"cultural hegemonist"! I'm begin- 
ning to feel like a character in The 
Body Snatchers. I think that's the 
one where everyone ends up in a pea 

And thank you for noting my earlier 
contribution to Lewis Carroll and 
mystery fiction, though people are 
certainly going to have a hard time 
tracking down copies to see what I 
had found. 

I have one little question. On p. 23 
there is a notice about Liza Leh- 
mann's music cycle of Carroll's 
poems. Do you happen to know if 
there were any poems from Sylvie 
and Bruno included in the cycle? 
If so I would like to reference this 
in our S&B bibliography, 

All the best, 
Byron Sewell 

For the past year Clare Imholtz, August Imholtz, Jr. and 
Byron Sewell have been working diligently on an 
extensive annotated international bibliography of the 
Sylvie and Bruno books. The bibliography will feature 
an introduction by Anne Clark-Amor. They have solicited 
contributions from numerous major collections around 
the world, as well as an extensive survey of the literature. 
They hope to submit the manuscript, which is approaching 
one hundred pages in length, for publication next year. 
Carroll's Sylvie and Bruno books have been much 
maligned, yet you might be surpised at the substantial 
level of interest they have enjoyed, especially in the last 
decade. No matter how much you think you know about 
this obscure literary topic you are sure to be astonished 
by what they have uncovered. 

Does anyone have an answer for them on the Lehmann 

Cooper Edens' new edition of AAIW("A Classic Illustrated 
Edition", Chronicle Books, 2000) like its predecessor, "The 
Ultimate Illustrated Edition", (Bantam, 1989), includes 
renderings by more than 25 classic artists. But unlike the 
Ultimate Edition, the Classic Edition was published without 
an index by page number to the illustrators, making it labor- 
ious to identify a particular illustration. To rectify this, I 
prepared a simple one-page index that can be slipped into 
the back of the book. It's rather useless sitting on my hard- 
drive, however, so perhaps you would announce that anyone 
who would like a copy can drop me a note at or 11935 Beltsville Drive, 
Beltsville, MD 20705. 

Clare Imholtz 

Dear John Docherty, 

I have read your letter in re- 
sponse to my article on your 
work, with a mixture of baffle- 
ment and regret. 

Firstly, I suggest it contained a 
severity of personal denigra- 
tion that is not appropriate to a 
public forum and which I sus- 
pect you may now regret. I 
don't blame you, and certainly 
do not intend to respond in 
kind, but I think it would be a 
mark of professionalism as 
well as politeness if you were 
to modify your style in any fu- 
ture correspondence. And I 
have to warn you many other 
writers would not be so forgiv- 

Beyond this I'm afraid I find 
your letter more confusing 
than either offensive or infor- 
mative. Perhaps I can quote a few extracts to show you what 
I mean. 

You wrote: 

Leach s first eight paragraphs well illustrate her carefully 
indiscriminate use of plausibility... the wild leaps backward 
and forward in time, associated with the imprecision in the 
use of 'echo ' and 'recall' draw readers away from the clear 
light of probability and prepare them for her dream-world of 
plausibility. Many of the images Leach chooses in her intro- 
ductory section - a femme fatale, an imperfect heart, faces 
in the fire - are ones which the Victorians picked up from 
sources like the Romantic poets and employed lavishly. 
MacDonald and Carroll are just as likely to have to have 
derived them from such sources as from each other. Her set- 
ting the scene in this way lays the necessary non-foundation 
for the rest of her article. " 

John, I'm afraid this totally baffles me — it is your conten- 
tion (not mine) that Dodgson and MacDonald consciously 


echoed each other's work. In the paragraphs you describe 
above, I was merely attempting to summarise your argu- 
ment, for the clarification of those who might be unfamil- 
iar with it. 

So when you assert that "MacDonald and Carroll are just as 
likely to have derived [their inspiration] from such sources 
as from each other" — you are refuting your own argu- 
ment — indeed the entire central premise upon which your 
book is based, not anything I have ever said or claimed. 

What more can I say? The problem would appear to be yours 
rather than mine. 

Again, you write: 

"From several unequivocal comments it is clear Leach bases 
her article on the thesis that I propose "that MacDonald 
may have modelled Vane (the 'hero ' ofLilith) at least in part 
on his Oxford friend Charles Dodgson ". The way Leach uses 
"in part " here is wholly characteristic of her approach. Of 
the forty-five pages I devote to Lilith in the first edition of my 
Carroll-MacDonald book, less than half a page in total is 
concerned with possible connections between Vane and 
Carroll, by comparison with some twenty pages on the way 
MacDonald uses the episodes o/Looking-Glass as the frame- 
work for Lilith. " 

Again, the nature of your objection defeats me. Apparently, 
you feel it was wrong of me to refer to this aspect of your 
theory — since you only devote half a page to it out of a 
total of forty five? 

I apologise if I have unwittingly offended you by agreeing 
with you for the wrong reasons — but think you will have to 
admit this is a slightly unusual approach to scholastic dis- 

You write: 

"Leach soon launches into her familiar claim that "there is 
no actual prima facie evidence anywhere to show that 
Dodgson ever nurtured... a passion for (Alice Liddell). " 

This is a manifestation of the extremist fringe of the post- 
modernist insistence upon the superiority of any external 
evidence over the evidence provided by books themselves. 

It is the sort of attitude which refuses to accept that Cathy 
had any feelings for Heathcliff unless such feelings can be 
inferred from an outside source such as some recorded an- 
ecdote about the inhabitants of Hawarth parsonage." 

John — I don't think it's 'extremist' or 'post-modernist' to 
make a distinction between 'reality'' and 'fiction'. Catherine 
and Heathcliff were two fictional characters created by 
Emily Bronte' whose emotional involvement is detailed in 
the narrative. Alice Liddell and Charles Dodgson were two 
real people — and the only evidence we have about their 
emotional involvement is in the letters, diaries and other 
documentation they left behind — not in the pages of 'Alice 's 
Adventures in Wonderland. 

I'm afraid it is simply true that there is no data to suggest 
Dodgson ever proposed marriage to Alice Liddell in that 
mysterious summer of 1 863 — or that he even considered 
the possibility of doing so. Indeed, there is no data to sug- 
gest that Alice Liddell was ever any more or less important 

or precious to him than her sisters. There is preserved not a 
word of his to indicate any passion for her, and no data, even 
of a circumstantial nature, to indicate the presence of such 
a passion. 

It is also clear from his own writings that the 'Alice' of his 
story, while named after Alice Liddell, very soon took on 
for him her own very separate persona, so that to infer any- 
thing about his feelings for Alice Liddell based on his af- 
fection for his 'dream Alice' would be a leap of logic that is 
simply not justified by the evidence. 

Do you really believe we should ignore all this reality and 
just take our 'facts' from what you or others think you can 
decode from between the lines of the "books themselves"? 
With respect, this is leaving legitimate historical analysis 
behind and drifting into the realms of fantasy. Successions 
of people have claimed to 'prove' almost anything from what 
they believe they have found in the Alice books. One man 
has 'proved' the books are all about a trip to Cornwall he 
believes Dodgson must have made. Another thinks they rep- 
resent an allegory on contemporary religious differences. 
You yourself have discerned a sexual metaphor, with the liz- 
ard and the two guinea pigs representing a penis and two 

In that sense Alice is no more than an ink blot test — we 
find what we want to see there. If you, John, are convinced 
the book is a testimony to Dodgson's passion for Alice 
Liddell, then this is what you will find. But that does not 
mean it is objectively real, or can be used as data. Or that 
we should ignore the hard evidence which tells a different 
story and just accept your conviction about what you think 
you have found. 

Remember, Alice and Dodgson were real people — not 
Cathy and Heathcliff, not characters in your or anyone else's 
fiction. The factual reality of Dodgson's life has been ig- 
nored for long enough by successions of writers intent on 
divining what they want to divine out of his unresisting work. 
It's time we asserted the supremacy of hard evidence over 
assumption and belief — even if it does mean we have to 
lose some very familiar and cherished images in the pro- 

I don't think many would describe this as an extremist point 
of view. But I suppose you and I and are simply different. 
You find my pursuit of hard evidence unacceptable. I find 
your perception of pubic hair and genitalia in Alice to be 
something I would not want to endorse under the heading of 
serious research. 

You write: 

"Carroll is not in a position to be able to refute Leach 's simi- 
lar assertions about him in her book. Most Carroll scholars 
continue to assert the nonsense nature of his fiction, so they 
are limited in the extent to which they are able to refute her 
claims. But they can refute her implied denial of his skills in 
logic and her scurrilous implication that if a Christian man 
is seriously concerned about his spiritual condition this can 
only be because of what he perceives as sexual lapses. And, 
fortunately, such refutations are more than adequate. 


Like many contemporary biographers, she seems to believe 
that the only way of making her subject comprehensible to 
her readers is by building around him a sexual fantasy in the 
modern mode. " 

John, I have to tell you, despite your wholesale denuncia- 
tions of my abilities elsewhere in your text, I find this por- 
tion of your letter to be the only truly offensive part. 

I took five years to research and write In the Shadow of the 
Dreamchild. It cost me dearly in financial and other terms 
that I won't ever recoup. I did it for one reason only — be- 
cause I wanted to present a fairer and more truthful image 
of Charles Dodgson than the one currently available in the 
standard biographies. I have tried to rescue his battered repu- 
tation from the taint of paedophilia, and from the myriad 
irrational or baseless assumptions that have been aired about 
his life and his work; I have tried to lay to rest the various 
myths that have distorted his image in the public mind, and 
tried to show he was much more than just an odd stammer- 
ing exile from the world who was "was emotionally fixated 
on children not adults". 

I have no idea what the man himself would think of what I 
have done, and neither have you. But I would hope, that he 
would not feel the need to "refute" anything I have written. 
I would hope he might even welcome what was at least an 
honest if ultimately futile attempt to set the record a little 

As for your suggestion of my "implied denial of his skills 
in logic". I simply do not understand what you can possibly 
mean. I have never implied any denial of his skills as a logi- 
cian, in fact I think I have made clear many times that I have 
the utmost admiration for the clarity, rigour and tenacity of 
his mind. 

Nor do I see anything "scurrilous" in the suggestion that 
Dodgson, a healthy, heterosexual man, may have expressed 
his sexuality in his life and even encountered an intense and 
painful sexual passion. In fact, to be frank — if I were 
Dodgson, I would rather be remembered as a man who ex- 
perienced a real and sometimes intense or guilt-ridden sex 
life than have it suggested in the pages of a serious scholas- 
tic journal and on the basis of no data at all, that I put sub- 
pornographic references to copulation in a book meant for 

Now that, I suggest, is scurrilous. And what's more it is 
almost certainly untrue, which is probably even worse. 

Best wishes, 

Karoline Leach 

I'm not sure where to (or if I should) send this little 
"dormouse" note, but I came across these lines in The 
Duchess ofMalfi by John Webster, 1613, Act I, Scene 2, 
Lines 187-19. 

This was an exchange between Ferdinand, the Duchess' evil 
brother, and Bosola, the slimy guy he's hired to spy on her. . . 


...this will gain 

Access to private lodgings, where yourself 

May, like a politic dormouse — 

As I have seen some 

Feed in a lord's dish, half asleep, not seeming 
To listen to any talk; 

Did Mr. Carroll ever read The Duchess? 
Jay Caldwell, MD 
Alaska Pacific University 
Anchorage, Alaska 

Do you happen to know where I could find a translation of 
"Jabberwocky" into classical Greek? 

John Hadden 
Brunswick, ME 

Although Carroll himself had requested a version from 
Robert Scott, composer of "Der Jammerwoch " — a bril- 
liant translation into German — and of course co-editor 
(with Dean Liddell) of the Oxford Greek Lexicon, Scott 
refused the task, for reasons unknown. Carroll pursued 
the quest for years but did not live to see "Iapftpco^ 
IapfitKCoa" by Robert Knox appear in the Morning Post 
(London) in 1918. August A. Imholtz, Jr. supplied this and 
other pertinent facts in his talk "Latin and Greek Versions 
of 'Jabberwocky ': Exercises in Laughing and Grief" to 
our Society on November J* 1977, an expanded version 
of which appeared in the Rocky Mountain Review of Lan- 
guage and Literature, vol 41, no. 4, 1987. A photocopy is 
on its way to you. Perhaps the classic version should 
appear in our pages in a subsequent issue? 

Ravings from the Writing Desk 
of Stephanie Lovett 

First off, I and the LCSNA offer our heartfelt sym- 
pathies to all our number who have been bereaved or af- 
fected by the September 1 1 attacks. One is tempted to ob- 
serve that we live in a horribly different world from the one 
that Lewis Carroll knew, but in reality, the dark side of hu- 
man nature haunts every decade of every century. There is 
nothing at all modern about what happened in Washington 
and New York. I certainly hope you have not been put off 
from traveling and that I shall see many familiar and new 
faces in Los Angeles. Dan Singer has put together a delight- 
ful day, and the Disney Studios have been gracious about 
screening the film for us. I am sure that taking the opportu- 
nity to consider and evaluate the phenomenon that is the 
Disney "Alice" on this her 50 th birthday will enhance our 
understanding of Alice as a part of popular culture and of 
the original book itself. Or you may have your own per- 
sonal motive for visiting Burbank — my daughter refuses to 
miss this meeting, because she wants to meet Kathryn Beau- 
mont. Not, however, because Kathryn was the voice of Alice, 
but because she was the voice of Wendy! 

Another reason to come to the fall meeting, of 
course, will be to make the acquaintance of Martin Eames 
Burstein, born August 18. Welcome Martin, and congratu- 
lations to Mark and Llisa! 


Reflections on a Week of Wednesdays 

Ruth Berman 

This side of the Looking-glass, weekdays come 
round in order and cannot be agglutinated, except as a turn 
of phrase — "a month of Sundays" means "a long time," and 
Alice, saving up the black kitten's punishments for 
"Wednesday week" ' means "a week from Wednesday," not 
seven Wednesdays in a row. 

Nowadays, by judicious dodging about on either 
side of the International Dateline, it is possible to have a 
couple of Wednesdays in succession, but the Dateline was 
still uncertain in Carroll's time. He described its usefulness 
and some of the oddities it would produce as early as the 
essay "Difficulties No. 1" in his 1849 or 1850 home- 
magazine, The Rectory Umbrella, when he was 17 or 18. 
He was not the first to argue the need for such a dateline — 
the suggestion had been made for centuries, but not usually 
with the clarity and lively sense 
of absurdity Carroll brought to 
it. Carroll's early essay has 
been reprinted as "A 
Hemispherical Problem" in 
Carroll collections; a shorter 
statement of the problem, 
"Where Does the Day Begin?", 
appeared as his letter to the 
Illustrated London News, 1 8 
April 1857, and is reprinted as 
a footnote in Edward Wake- 
ling's edition of the Diaries. 2 

As Roger Lancelyn Green pointed out in the 
Introduction to his edition of the Diaries, 3 "From this 
premiss [the first "Difficulty"], it is only a logical move to 
the land through the Looking-Glass." He also argues that "it 
is not a great step from [the second "Difficulty" 4 , which 
begins Which is the best, a clock that is right only once a 
year, or a clock that is right twice every day? '] to the Mad 
Hatter's quarrel with time — after which it was always six 
o'clock". The Mad Hatter's quarrel is with a personified 
Time, a Time whose feelings could be hurt and who imposed 
perpetual teatime as a punishment. Philip Weiner, in a letter 
to Jabberwocky, 5 suggested that the time had to be stopped 
at teatime, because "f" in physics equations stands for "time". 

The Hatter's watch, however, being two days slow, 
is apparently still measuring time of some sort, even though 
Time has stopped time for him. The Hatter lives 
simultaneously under two sets of time, like the two clocks 
of Carroll's second "Difficulty"; one stopped, and therefore 
unchangingly right twice a day, the other losing time and 
therefore only rarely right — but more helpful. 

Outside Wonderland, Carroll did not use a 
personified Time, but the paradoxes involved in measuring 
time continued to fascinate him. He revisited his difficulty 
over the day's beginning in the last chapter, "Knot X", of A 
Tangled Tale 6 . The Knot's version included a brief 
description of the way three occurrences of the same day 
can be piled together, by comparing the days of a stay-at- 

"What's the good of Mercator's North Poles 
and Eojjators, 
Tropics, Zones, and Meridian Lines?" 
So the Bellman would cry: and the crew 

would reply 
"They are merely conventional signs!" 

home with a pair of circumnavigators, one sailing east and 
one west. Carroll may have borrowed this day-trio from 
Edgar Allan Poe's "Three Sundays in a Week", 7 which turns 
on this same oddity. Carroll was familiar with Poe's work 
and enjoyed it; 8 he may also have been familiar with the 
device of the gained day in Phileas Fogg's eastward 
circumnavigation. 9 

The timing of the publication of A Tangled Tale 
suggests that Carroll returned to the topic just when he did 
in the hope that public events were about to answer his riddle. 
In the early 1880s, railroad companies were pressing for 
standardized time zones. They didn't want to translate 
schedules into the local times of every last town; they wanted 
a small number of time zones — preferably, 24 one-hour 
zones, each covering 15° of longitude. The USA and Canada 
were measuring longitude by the British standard, which set 
0° at the longitude that ran through the Greenwich Royal 

Observatory, and on November 
18, 1883, Standard Railway 
Time went into effect in both 
countries, reducing fifty local 
time zones to five. Shipping 
companies, too, wanted to 
provide this service. Predict- 
ing arrival times for sailing- 
ships had long involved so 
much guess-work that pre- 
cision was impossible, but 
steam-power had now made it 
possible to predict when a ship would come in, no matter 
where the winds blew. 

Furthermore, astronomers and other scientists 
around the world wanted to be able to tell each other exactly 
when they had observed what. Starting October 1 , 1 884, the 
International Prime Meridian Conference met for three 
weeks in Washington, DC, to decide on a standard 0° 
longitude and standardized time zones to measure from it. 
The train companies did not usually go far enough to have 
to worry about changing calendars; but the shipping 
companies did. Carroll probably hoped that the Conference 
that October would answer his last statement of the riddle 
with an official Dateline that his Monthly Packet readers 
could write to him as their answer in November — or that 
he could announce to them when he discussed their answers. 
His comments on part of the Knot ran in the March 1885 
issue, but he postponed consideration of the day's beginning, 
commenting, "[It] has always been a puzzle to me, and, often 
as it has been brought forward in scientific periodicals, I 
have never seen its difficulties successfully explained. I am 
trying to get some definite statistics which will, I hope, shed 
a new light on it." 

In the May 1885 Monthly Packet, he reported 
"Once more I postpone the geographical problem — partly 
because I have not yet received the statistics I was hoping 
for, and partly because I am myself so entirely puzzled by 
it." When the book version came out later that year, he still 
had not received the hoped-for statistics, and he announced 


regretfully that he "must postpone, sine die, the geographical 
problem." The Latin phrase is usually short for adjourning 
"without a day (to meet again)," but in this context the phrase 
was a pun, for Carroll was also without a place for a "day" to 

Carroll's difficulties in getting information about 
the practices in establishing a date-line can be seen in his 
correspondence 10 with the Eastern Telegraph Company/ 
Eastern Extension Australasia & China Telegraph Company 
of London. He wrote April 21, 1885 with a list of cities and 
territories selected to provide one place for each time zone, 
and asked which places would still be in the old year when it 
was midnight at the end of the year in Greenwich. W.R. 
Dupre, answering for the company, checked off some of 
the cities, getting them wrong if he was trying to answer 
Carroll's question (he might rather have been starting to 
check off the ones listed in the company's Tariff Book). He 
checked Rome (1 a.m.), Petersburg (2 a.m.), and Aden (3 
a.m.), which would all have been into the new year at 
Greenwich's midnight; he also checked New Orleans (6 
p.m.), New York (7 p.m.), Buenos Ayres (8 p.m.), and Rio 
Janeiro (10 p.m.), which would still have been part of De- 
cember 31 [note: CLD's spellings]. Dupre also started to 
correct Carroll's time-zone-style times to exact local times 
on some of the places, changing 4 a.m. to 3:47 for Mauritius, 
6 to 5:50 for Calcutta, and 7 to 7:05 for Cochin China [Viet- 
nam today]. 

Carroll tried again, writing April 24 with a list of 
cities and their local times." It was a less systematic list 
than the preceding one. He inserted Hongkong, at 12:32 
a.m., between the midnight and 1 a.m. zones represented by 
Singapore at 1 1:51 and Shanghai at 1:01, and he did not list 
a city for the 7 a.m. zone to go between Honolulu at 6:25 
a.m. and San Francisco at 8:48 a.m.. This time he asked: if 
all 24 places sent telegrams to the company at the same 
moment, 4:56 PM on December 31,1 884, what dates would 
they have? (The odd choice of Greenwich time puts New 
York at noon; perhaps he was using a list published in the 
U.S. for this set of examples.) This time he heard from W.F. 
Ansell, who at first thought Carroll was asking how long it 
took to transmit a message, and explained that transmission 
speeds varied according to such factors as the state of the 
lines, the volume of business, and the ability of the clerk. 
Then he realized that wasn't the issue, and went on in a sec- 
ond paragraph: "If you desire to know the theoretical time, 
about which we are not deeply concerned, it will be readily 
found by the simple process of adding or deducting the dif- 
ference of time given at the end of our Tariff Book, every- 
thing after midnight (he started to write 'before midnight,' 
but crossed out the 'bef') belonging to the preceding or 
following day. We often received telegrams from Australia 
dated the previous (corrected by CLD to 'following') day." 
This well-meant answer was not helpful. The "simple" pro- 
cess recommended was not really simple, as shown by 
Ansell's own difficulty remembering how midnight entered 
the calculation. (His own secretary had added a note to let 
Carroll know that "previous day" should be "following day".) 

And Carroll knew well enough that on his list Hongkong, 
Shanghai, Yeddo [Edo, or Tokyo today] (2:14 a.m.), Sydney 
(3:01 a.m.), and Auckland in New Zealand (4:12 a.m.) came 
later than midnight but earlier than any likely dateline and 
so, in his example, would already be in January 1, 1885. 
What he wanted to know was where the time jumped back 
to 1884 again: was it 12 hours from Greenwich, so that 
Atkah in Alaska (5:19 a.m.) was still in 1884, or was the 
change somewhere else, or was it nowhere in particular? 
The Telegraph Company, apparently, had no idea, and did 
not much care. 

Politically, it was perhaps not surprising that the 
1884 Conference failed to supply a dateline. It was all they 
could do to set 0° longitude. Britain and many other 
countries (especially ones that spoke English or belonged 
to the British Empire) were using the Greenwich Royal 
Observatory to supply their zero; but many countries used 
their own capitals for their 0°. France, Britain's long-time 
rival, was bitterly opposed to going to the expense of revising 
their maps to reckon by a British landmark. 12 

The Conference did go so far as to set — not a 
dateline, but a standard day. This answered Carroll's question 
not with a where, but a when: the standard day began at 12 
midnight Greenwich Mean Time, no matter what time of 
day that might be locally around the world. This system 
worked nicely for astronomers, but was not helpful for the 
railways and shipping companies, who could not expect their 
customers to calculate their lives by Greenwich Time. In 
the years that followed, however, the nations of the world 
gradually adopted the Greenwich zero and the time zones 
reckoned from that zero. Derek Howse's table of adoption 
dates 13 shows that Great Britain, Sweden, and the USA were 
already using the system in 1884, though the USA did not 
make it the law of the land until 1918. France adopted it in 
1911. Around the Pacific, Japan adopted the system in 1 888, 
the Philippines in 1899, most of China in 1904, and the 
Hawaiian islands in 1912. 

The adoption of a standard zero meant there were 
only two plausible choices for an international dateline: zero 
itself and 1 80° — with whatever zig-zags were needed to 
let countries along the line decide which side they felt closer 
to, and to avoid splitting countries on the line down the 
middle. But zero was not a practical choice. The calendar 
used internationally was the European calendar, which had 
spread east to Asia and west to the Americas. There was 
already a feeling that the "Orient" was the true "east" and 
the Americas the true "west," and the day should begin 
somewhere between them. Between them, however, was a 
wide sea, and many colonial European nations had used the 
longitudes of the capitals of their primary Pacific colonies 
to set their own datelines. Clark Blaise 14 listed the examples 
of Manila in the Philippines for Spain, Macao in China for 
Portugal, and Batavia (Jakarta) in Indonesia for the 

Logically (as Carroll had pointed out), the dateline 
could be set anywhere at all, with no case to be made for 
setting it anywhere in particular. Historically, it might be 


set according to the spread of empires, with "Russian 
America" (i.e., Alaska) on Russian dating in spite of its North 
American geographical position, and the Philippines on 
Hispanic-American dating, in spite of their geographical 
distance. Practically, however, a dateline needed to set 
somewhere, and a zig-zag taking Alaska off and keeping the 
Philippines on "American" dating would have been 
unworkably confusing. Politically, however, once the 
Greenwich zero had been accepted, there was only one real 
possibility. Most of the areas where there might have been 
disagreements had already been decided. 

In 1 844, the Archbishop of Manila had decreed that 
the Philippines would have no December 31 that year, 
skipping a day to shift from "American" to "Asian" dating. 
In 1 867, the USA bought Alaska from Russia. The change 
in dating as such went unnoticed, because Russia was still 
on the old Julian calendar, and the Alaskans had to change 
dates to shift to the Gregorian calendar, anyway. But the 
change in the day of the week was noticeable to churchgoers, 
as Alaska's administration started holding Sunday on the 
same day as the rest of the continent, instead of on the same 
day as Russia. In 1882, the King of Samoa decided that he 
was doing more business with the USA than with Australia, 
and declared his allegiance by shifting from "Asian" to 
"American" dating - — and underscored it by holding two 
Fourths of July to make the changeover. When the 1884 
International Prime Meridian Conference set a zero 
longitude at Greenwich, that choice automatically set 1 80° 
on a line that — with a little zig-zagging — would be right 
for marking the dates that the Philippines, Samoa and most 
of the other Pacific islands were using anyway. Perhaps it 
was the lack of international law on the subject that made 
Carroll unwilling to call 180° (with zig-zags) the dateline. 
Another archbishop, another purchase, another king, and the 
lines could start bouncing about again, maybe even bouncing 
enough to make 1 80° unworkable as the marker. 

As late as 1899, the existence of the dateline 
seemed arguable. F. S. Leigh-Browne 15 quoted the 
conclusion of Professor George Davidson of the University 
of California in that year: "There is no International Date 
Line. The theoretical line is 1 80° from Greenwich, but the 
line actually used is the result of agreement among the 
commercial steamships of the principal maritime 
countries" — and, as Leigh-Brown pointed out, the situation 
remained unchanged. The dateline had no legal existence. 
But the 1884 agreement on where 0° was located brought 
with it a gradually increasing belief that an International 
Dateline was located at the 180° line opposite it, with or 
without laws to say so. By 1 9 1 0, when a few remaining small 
disputes in the zig-zags needed were settled, there was no 
longer any real question as to whether and where the 
International Dateline existed. So the 1884 Conference did, 
in effect, produce an answer to Carroll's riddle — although 
not in time for him to use it. 

On the other side of the Looking-glass, time was 
much more malleable. Alice's plans for punishments 
Wednesday week have two paradoxical mirror images. In 

Chapter 5, "Wool and Water," the King's Messenger's 
punishment has already begun, and it's the trial that is being 
saved up: "The trial doesn't even begin till next Wednesday: 
and of course the crime comes last of all," as the White 
Queen explains helpfully. In chapter 9, "Queen Alice," the 
Queens explain to Alice that their days come in clumps: 
"We had such a thunderstorm last Tuesday — I mean one of 
the last set of Tuesdays, you know," says the White Queen, 
and the Red Queen considers a mere one day at a time "a 
poor thin way of doing things. Now here, we mostly have 
days and nights two or three at a time, and sometimes in the 
winter we take as many as five nights together..." 

In the Mad Gardener's Song in Sylvie and Bruno, 
Carroll returned for a moment to Wednesday week, in the 
form of the "middle of next week" — a moment concrete 
enough to be mistaken for the rattlesnake "that spoke to 
him in Greek" (chap. 6, "The Magic Locket"). The problem 
of visualizing time was too much for illustrator Harry 
Furniss, and he did not provide a picture for the stanza. A 
modern artist, Sean Morrison, in a 1967 picture-book 
edition of The Mad Gardener 's Song, ingeniously made it 
a curved rattlesnake that turned into the "2" of a calendar- 
page for "Wednesday, 2 Distember." 16 

Elsewhere in S&B, Tuesday is the day for important 
events. The Professor hopes to give his long-promised 
lecture "next Tuesday — or Tuesday week" (chap. 3, 
"Birthday Presents"), Lady Muriel asks the narrator to bring 
Arthur to a picnic ten days later, urging him, "And don't 
forget the day, Tuesday week" (chap. 16, "A Changed 
Crocodile"), and when Tuesday week arrives, Sylvie in turn 
promises the narrator to come to visit, not for the picnic on 
the same day, but "next Tuesday." When the narrator 
experiments with moving time backward and forward by 
means of "An Outlandish Watch" (chap. 23), he hears that a 
long-engaged couple have finally set their wedding date — 
"It's to be next Tuesday four weeks." (Other references to 
days of the week in S&B are in the ordinary calendrical 
mode, measuring English time, without playing on "week"- 

The Outlandish Watch was the first time machine 
in a book, for S&B (1889) preceded H. G. Wells' The Time 
Machine (1895). Wells' time machine came before 
Carroll's, however, as his book was rewritten from his earlier 
magazine serial, "The Chronic Argonaut". 17 The idea of time 
as a fourth dimension, something that could be imagined as 
being, potentially, as traversable as the other three, was then 
spreading among scientists. Alexander L. Taylor suggested 
in The White Knight, A Study of C. L. Dodgson™ that 
Carroll's source for the idea might have been German 
physicist Gustav Theodor Fechner writing under the 
pseudonym Dr. Mises in "Space has Four Dimensions" , one 
of the Vier Paradoxe (Four Paradoxes) Fechner published 
in 1846. 

In Sylvie and Bruno Concluded, Mein Herr (chap. 
7, "Mein Herr"/ "Fortunatus' Purse") explains that in his 
country unused Time is saved up to be used later. Another 
"Tuesday week" follows his comments, for the Earl tells 


the narrator that Mein Herr will be back "this day fortnight" 
for a party he is giving. That should mean two weeks from 
the unspecified day, but he urges the narrator to be sure to 
come, saying, "Don't forget Tuesday week!" If the 
unspecified day were Tuesday, it might be argued that "this 
day fortnight" and "Tuesday week" could be the same thing, 
but ten days later it is the night before the party, so apparently 
the party really was on a Tuesday a week and a half later, not 
two weeks later. (Was Carroll in some doubt as to whether 
to include another Tuesday week party, and forgot to delete 
the "fortnight" when he put in the "Tuesday week," or should 
we guess that the discrepancy is a display of Mein Heir's 
saved time?) When the Professor's long-promised lecture 
comes round at last, at the end of S&BC (chap. 21, "The 
Professor's Lecture Concluded"), it threatens to be long 
enough to rival a Looking-glass week. The Sub- Warden, 
grumbling that the introductory Axioms are too many, 
complains, "At this rate, we sha'n't get to the Experiments 
till tomorrow-week." By English time, several months have 
gone by between the promise of the lecture and the Tuesday- 
week of its delivery. Perhaps nine months have elapsed, for 
the story seems to start in spring, with violets in bloom in 
S&B (chap. 14, "Fairy-Sylvie") and the year is "drawing to a 
close" in S&BC (chap. 19, "A Fairy-Duet"). Carroll for a 
time planned to title the story "Four Seasons", and this title 
also suggests that he thought of the action as running from 
spring into winter, although the action does not cover a full 

The elapsed time in Outland may be about the same, 
or it may be somewhat less. For Outland, the time spent 
corresponds to the two arrival times in Outland of the 
handful of dust sent by the Warden near the start of S&B 
(chap. 8, "A Ride on a Lion"). The spell, "Let craft, ambition, 
spite/ Be quenched in Reason's night ... Till what is wrong 
be right," that he pronounces over the handful of dust takes 
effect immediately, but the dust arrives much later, and the 
two effects seem to correspond to the two travel times 
between Elfland and Outland: the Royal Road, which seems 
to be instantaneous for S&B; and the ordinary one, which 
takes about a month for the Baron. 

The idiocy imposed by the Warden's spell takes 
effect in the chapter that follows (chap. 9, "A Jester and a 
Bear"), where the Sub- Warden mistakes Bruno for a 
hatstand, his son Uggug for a loose nail, and the Professor 
for the Sub-Wardeness. The cloud of dust itself, restoring 
the Sub- Warden's senses and making him able to repent, 
arrives at the end of S&BC, at the end of the banquet 
following the lecture (chap. 23, "The Pig-Tale"). If the cloud 
of dust came by the ordinary road, then the time between its 
sending, when the lecture had just been scheduled, and its 
arrival, when the lecture had just been given, wouM also be 
about a month, even though the corresponding English time 
was about nine months. The champion in drawing time out, 
however, is the Other Bruno. Bruno claims (chap. 14, 
"Bruno's Picnic") that the "other Bruno" in the story Sylvie 
tells in "Bruno's Picnic" had a big cupboard where he kept 
his promises on one shelf and his birthday on another, and 

so managed to have it his birthday all year round. 

Like many people, Carroll sometimes attributed 
individual character to the days of the week. The nursery 
rhyme in one common version has it that "Tuesday's child is 
full of grace," and "Wednesday's child is full of woe," and 
Carroll may have had those associations in mind when he 
put those punitive Wednesdays behind his Looking-Glass, 
and so many party Tuesdays into S&B. In his diaries, Carroll 
commented twice on Tuesday as his lucky day: "Many 
Tuesdays in my life have been marked by happy events" (June 
28, 1864) 19 ; and, after enjoying a day in London, he 
commented, "It was (like so many Tuesdays in my life) a 
very enjoyable day" (April 10, 1877) 20 . 

A woeful Wednesday puts in a brief appearance in 
one of the sample sorites in Symbolic Logic 21 which includes 
among its premises: "Wednesdays are always cloudy" and 
"The only days when Robinson is uncivil to me are 
Wednesdays." The puzzle of deciding when the days of the 
week began thus became a focus for Carroll for meditations 
on the nature of time — that ever- fleeting abstraction which, 
refracted through his imagination, can be seen, mistaken 
for a rattlesnake, heaped in clumps, kept in storage, and even, 
with sufficiently Outlandish equipment, made to skip and 
reverse itself. Carroll's Outlandishly manipulatable time and 
the graceful Tuesday feast-days make a comically 
melancholy contrast with the woefulness of the punitive 
Wednesdays and of "Time's dark, resistless stream" (as he 
called it in the dedicatory poem to S&B) — the invisible, 
untouchable, unstoppable time that runs on our side of the 

The author wishes to thank Alan Tannenbaum for checking 
the dates when the "Knots" of A Tangled Tale ran (reordered 
and renumbered) in The Monthly Packet: I: April 1880, III: 
July 1880, IV: October 1880, V: January 1881, II: April 
1881, VI: July 1881, VII: April 1882, IX: January 1883, 
VIII: August 1 883, and, over a year later, X: November 1 884; 
and thanks also to Matt Demakos for suggesting Blaise's 
book; Edward Wakeling for information on the Ramsom 
Center's holdings; and the Harry Ransom Center and the 
agent for the Dodgson family for permission to see copies 
of mss. materials on "Where does the day begin?." 

1.77V_G,chap. 1 

2. Wakeling, ed.: Lewis Carroll 's Diaries (Luton, Beds.: The Lewis 
Carroll Society [U.K.], 1995) vol. 3, p. 29. 

3. Green, ed.: The Diaries of Lewis Carroll (Oxford: Oxford 
University Press, 1953), p. 26 

4. reprinted as "The Two Clocks" 

5. Jabberwocky, (Lewis Carroll Society [U.K.]), Vol. 11, Summer 
1982, p. 89 

6. serialized irregularly in The Monthly Packet between April 1 880- 
November 1 884, and printed as a book in 1 885 

7. included in Poe's Collected Works in 1850 

"Reflections " continues onp.25 



& tErnara®, 

Peake Experience 

This issue's cover celebrates the fact that Mervyn Peake's 
luminous drawings for AW and TTLG (1946) are being 
instaurated by Bloomsbury. "Unavailable in any edition since 
1978, these extraordinary illustrations, many of which were 
drawn on poor quality wartime paper, have been restored to 
their former clarity and crispness by a combination of old- 
fashioned craft and the latest computer technology. They 
are now meticulously reproduced, for the first time, as they 
were meant to be seen. This exquisite two-volume set is the 
first edition to do justice to two great English eccentrics." 
A Scarries an introduction by Will Self (Cock & Bull, Great 
Apes, etc.); TTLG one by Zadie Smith (White Teeth). The 
volumes are very cleanly and handsomely designed. £10 / 
$16 each or slipcased together $32. 1-58234-174-5. 

Dutiful, but Dumb 

Young "pop pundit" Katie Roiphe (The Morning After: Sex, 
Fear, and Feminism on Campus ; Sex and Morals at the 
Century's End, etc.) trudges on overly-familiar ground in 
Still She Haunts Me, a heavy-handed novelization (one is 
reluctant to call it a novel) of the relationship between CLD 
and APL, told in a somewhat portentous and didactic style. 
Carrollians familiar with her (dreadfully conventional) 
source material can easily see her at work, adding an adverb 
here, an active verb there, until it reads something like 
fiction. That having been said, every once in a while an in- 
sightful imagining of character is achieved. Hardcover, $24, 
0-385-33527-X, from Dial Books (Bantam Dell, a division 
of Random House). 


Willy the Dreamer by Anthony Browne, Candlewick 
Press; 0763603783: $17. Ages 4-8. 

"I recently came across Anthony Browne's delightful picture 
book. Each page has Willy the chimp dreaming of being all 
sorts of things and in his illustrations, Browne refers to well- 
known artists, art, writers, and stories. For Carroll fans there 
is a page where Willy dreams of being 'a famous writer' 
with a charming page full of scenes from both Alice books. 
Since Willy is a chimp, all the characters are chimps too. 
Browne illustrated Wonderland some years ago, but in this 
case he is referencing Tenniel, not his own version." 
~ Monica Edinger 

I'm at a (De)Loss 

Artist DeLoss McGraw has had an amazing career given his 
own professing that he "paints like a failed fifth-grader". 
Exhibitions of his AW paintings have been seen around the 
Southwest (KL 64, p.21), are currently at the Nohra Haime 
Gallery in New York and the Skidmore Contemporary Art 
gallery in Malibu, CA; are for sale on the Web as lithographs 


wrkshopart/alice.html); and Harper 

Collins has come through on its threat 

to publish an edition of AW marred 

with 150 of his full-color illustrations 

($22 he, 0060291 508). To the present 

writer, for an artist to make a career given this profound 

disability is akin to a tone-deaf violinist living next door 

and practicing loudly. 

In fairness, this is only one man's opinion. Janet Jurist writes 
that she and Griffin Miller saw the exhibition at the Haime 
Gallery and were "enchanted". McGraw is widely exhibited 
and collected and has been awarded the prestigious Gold 
Medal by the New York Society of Illustrators for 2001 for 
this book. De gustibus and all that. 

Wisdom from the Great Unwashed 

A review of AW on by "a reader from Waldorf, 
MD" says: "The author's use of language was very unlike 
our language today. For example, when she said so many 
times the words, 'shot up', it sounds English or something. 
Maybe the author has English back round ... The main 
character is Alice ... A lot of her decisions during the book 
make no sense. Like to just walk off with that little pig at 
the Duchess' house. And why would she follow the rabbit to 
an unknown land to begin with? One thing of the book I did 
not understand was the theme. One other thing I didn't see 
in the book was a plot. In my opinion this book had no 
effectiveness. It also had no meaning. It had no moral, and 
nothing to learn from it. So I think the book was very 

deLoss McGraw 



A Bon(er)-Adventure, Indeed 

Paul J. Schafer's class in Early Victorian Literature 
at St. Bonaventure University, according to its syllabus, 
victorian_literature.htm) is a wealth of misinformation. 
Gems abound: 

"The original Alice, Alice Liddell, adamantly refused to 
autograph any Alice book. She did, however, make one 
exception for the young Princess Elizabeth; 
consequently, Queen Elizabeth now owns the only copy 
of AW signed by the original Alice... 

Because Alice finds herself, as many of us do, the only 
sane person in an insane world, the book should be read 
when one is very young and when one is very old. Insofar 
as life is absurd, Alice is a marvelous reflection of that 
absurdity. I actually enjoyed the book much more as an 
adult than I did as a child. Actually, I hated the book as a 
child. I look forward to reading it in old age... 

Some of my favorite quotes from^//ce are (1) The world 
is becoming curiouser and curiouser..." 


Bob Dylan's first new album in four years, "Love 
and Theft" was released in September. The alburn his 43 rd , 
leads off with "Tweedle Dee & Tweedle Dum," a rockabilly- 
fueled song with typical Dylan absurdist lyrics. (He 
pronounces it "tweedle-dee-dum and tweedle-dee-dee".) A 
TV commercial features this song with Dylan and legendary 
card master Ricky Jay in a mysterious poker game. Also 
viewable at 

This Baker's No Butcher! 

Reviewed by August and Clare Imholtz 

Wonderland Alice, conceived and directed by 
Keith Alan Baker (Studio Theatre, Washington, DC, July 19 
- Aug. 12, 2001) begins with Dodgson and the three Liddell 
sisters in a boat with a fourth "modern" Alice, dressed in a 
halter top and jeans, off to the side observing and reacting. 
Each of the Liddell sisters, attired in Tennielesque pinafores, 
take turns playing Alice, and the modern Alice, played by K. 
Clare Johnson, also takes occasional roles. It may sound 
somewhat chaotic, but the four Alices work quite well in 
moving the episodes along and becoming "Everychild", even 
a contemporary one. 

Memorable characters — such as "Marlene 
Dietrich" as caterpillar; a lecherous lesbian Duchess and 
her equally lecherous husband who turns into a pig and attacks 
Alice (of course, he always was a pig); and a funnier Queen 
of Hearts (Suzanne Richard) than one could ever have 

imagined, actually a "little person" with a huge voice and an 
outrageous sense of the comic — help make Baker's 
Wonderland Alice a success. TTLG is less lively and 
inventive than the AW episodes, but still entertaining, 
especially when Richard returns as a most engaging White 
Queen. Some scenes don't work, particularly the Jabberwock 
and the attempt to have two of the Alice characters play 
Dum and Dee. 

Although Wonderland Alice bills itself as "the 
darker side" of Alice, we heard the audience laughing a lot 
and found ourselves doing the same. This is probably because 
the play is at core Carroll's own invention — the characters 
may be Baker's riffs on Carroll and there are songs by Jim 
Morrison, George Gershwin and others, but the language is 
Carroll's and that makes all the difference. In all, twelve 
musical numbers enliven the action without being intrusive. 
Matthew Griffith's rendition of "Beautiful Soup" to the tune 
of James Brown's "I Feel Good" was superb. Thankfully, 
there are no political messages nor literary theories put 
forward in this production, and we are mercifully spared 
any depiction of Lewis Carroll as a character (except in the 
brief initial scene) or exploration/exploitation of his affinity 
for little girls. 

Finally, mention should be given to excellent 
performances by the White Rabbit (Scott Griswold), 
Humpty Dumpty (Hugh Walthall), the Cheshire Cat and 
White Knight (John Slone played both), to name just a few. 
But it is Richard, her imperial voice emanating from her 
diminutive form, who steals the show. 

Le jar din secret 

Paris, April through June 
Review by Janet Jurist 

Frequently in one's travels, serendipitous encoun- 
ters can prove more exciting than planned activities. This 
happened on a recent visit to Paris. While strolling past 
shops and galleries, my friend, knowing my interests, caught 
sight of an announcement. 

It was for Le jar din secret d' Alice, ou "La 
Veritable histoire de Lewis Carroll et d' Alice" at one of 
the galleries of the Palais Royal, whose owner had designed 
the sets for the production. He was pleased to learn that I 
was a member of the L.C.S.N.A. and urged us to see the play 
being staged at Theatre Les Dechargeurs at 3 Rue des 
Daschareaurs, a street so insignificant that it is not on most 
maps of Paris. However, we ever.* if !■*•' found the theater, 
albeit with some difficulty. It was in a building inside a walled 
courtyard, with a small lobby and an accompanying art show. 

We came across several people in the lobby, the 
most exciting of whom was the elegant and charming Mar- 
quise de Breteuil, the playwright, star, and founder of "Les 
Com^diens de 1'Orangerie". She was most cordial and in- 
terested in my affiliation with our Society. 

About eight of us descended the narrow staircase 
to a room that was not cavernous but that looked like what 
the French call a cave. We sat at small tables and were served 


The set was austere but appropriate. The play had 
three characters, each of them taking two parts. So far as I 
could tell, given my limited French, the play was a freely 
imaginative and psychological treatment of the relationship 
between CLD and APL. It begins with a young woman re- 
porter coming to interview the elderly Alice Hargreaves, 
played by the Marquise. The lovely reporter is played by 
Marie- Laure Froidevaux, granddaughter of the Marquise. 
During the course of the interview, Alice's life and her rela- 
tionship with Lewis Carroll are discussed. A male charac- 
ter, a photographer, who also appears in the first act, is played 
by Francois-Paul Dubois. In the second act, the reporter 
becomes little Alice and the elderly Alice turns into Mrs 
Liddell. Later the photographer enters the set through a look- 
ing-glass. He is now Lewis Carroll and he tries to entice 
Alice into entering the looking-glass with him. 

Unfortunately we did not understand much of the 
dialogue, even with the help of a portion of the play that we 
videotaped. However, the Marquise gave me a synopsis which 
I include herewith. She also, subsequently, sent me a copy 
of the script. After the performance, I took pictures of the 
cast and the Marquise and several members of the audience 
who were friends of hers, joined us for a French version of 
the tea party (with alcohol) in a nearby cafe\ 

Mme. de Breteuil's Synopsis 
Translated by Llisa Demetrios Burstein 

Alice's "secret garden" is the garden of her childhood: the splendor 
of the happy summer days. 

The young Alice Liddell, who became Mrs. Hargreaves, never 
forgot, in spite of the many years which passed, her great friend 
Lewis Carroll. 

Two journalists push open a door for Alice, in the waning years 
of her life, to remember, little by little; to cast a spell over the 
past, where it essentially becomes just Lewis and Alice. 

It is a story of love, escape, and loneliness; a reason to go through 
time and cross over the mirror of memories. 

The Idyllic Isle 

Clare Imholtz 

Following once again in the footsteps of Charles 
Dodgson, members of the Lewis Carroll Society (U.K.) 
ferried across the Solent to the Isle of Wight on June 15, 
200 1 , then made their way west to Freshwater Bay, where 
Dodgson had stayed during visits between 1859 and 1864. 

The 2001 outing was centered just above Freshwater 
at Farringford, once the home of Alfred, Lord Tennyson, 
and now a charming hotel where Society members stayed, 
albeit some of us in more recently constructed outcottages. 
Our meetings were held in the very room that had once been 
Tennyson's study, the room to which he often fled up the 
winding backstairs to escape unwelcome visitors such as, 
presumably, Dodgson. Features of the Hotel grounds — with 
which many of us felt already familiar, having read Lynne 
Truss's amusing novel Tennyson's Gift — included the huge 
sequoia planted by Garibaldi, the covered walkway where 
Tennyson was able to get his daily exercise even during 

inclement weather, and the wonderful High Down, where 
the air, according to the Poet Laureate, was worth "sixpence 
a pint". Those who made the trek up to the Down to look 
over Freshwater Bay and the Solent found it worth far more 
these days. 

Festivities began on Friday evening, June 15, with 
a keynote talk by Elizabeth Hutchings of the Farringford 
Tennyson Society. Elizabeth spoke most interestingly of the 
Tennyson family's life at Farringford. Keith Wright of the 
LCS then provided a visual complement, showing 
photographs, many by Dodgson and Julia Margaret Cameron 
(Tennyson's nearby neighbor on the Isle) of persons and 
places connected with Farringford. Later in the evening, 
Selwyn Goodacre, assisted by the mellifluous voices of 
Janet Goodacre and John Luke, treated us to a delicious 
after-dinner entertainment, consisting of recitations of 
Tennyson poems, or bits of them, by Janet, followed by 
Carrollian imitations or echoes read by John. "The Charge 
of the Light Brigade," "The Lady of Shalott," and of course 
"Maud" were a few of the poems that Selwyn found to be 
consciously or unconsciously imitated by Dodgson. 

Back in the study the next morning, Keith Wright 
gave a second very appealing talk. His topic was Agnes Grace 
Weld, who was Tennyson's niece and also of course one of 
Dodgson's child photographic subjects. 

We then walked downhill a quarter-mile to Dimbola 
Lodge, the one-time residence of Julia Margaret Cameron 
and her family. Cameron was a brilliant photographer who 
let nothing interfere with her art: on at least one occasion 
she locked a child in a closet for two hours in order to get 
the "look of desperation" she was after. One feels sure that 
most children preferred to have their image captured by 
Dodgson. Still, we wandered approvingly through the exhibit 
of Cameron's photography, then were treated to a talk and 
slide show on the fascinating Mrs. Cameron, her 
photographic subjects and her friends, by Ron Smith, the 
assistant curator. 

With the sky beginning to darken, we boarded a 
coach for Bonchurch, a lovely small unspoiled village where 
Dodgson's nephew and godson Charlie Wilcox was buried 
in November 1874, and which has changed but little since. 
Mark Richards, standing in the ancient teeny Church of St. 
Boniface (rebuilt, 1090), spoke briefly and insightfully of 
Dodgson's relationship with his nephew and its reflection 
in The Hunting of the Snark. We strolled through the old 
churchyard and burial ground, then walked down to the sea 
where, with the sun intermittently appearing between dark 
clouds, we were able to observe a huge number of sailboats 
that were engaged in a race around the Isle. 

Our next stop was Sandown, a coastal town on the 
eastern side of the Isle which Dodgson had frequently visited 
during the 1870s, and where he made many child-friends on 
the beach. Some of the group went from there to visit a toy 
and doll museum in the next town, Brading, while others 
took part in a walking tour, ably led by "schoolmaster" Roger 
Scowen, who was armed with a vintage children's guide to 
Victorian architecture. The rain which we had managed to 


avoid thus far finally began in earnest and soon only the 
hardiest among us remained en tour. Roger himself would 
have gone on undaunted forever had he not been unsure what 
time we were to meet the coach. 

Saturday evening's after dinner entertainment 
consisted of two excellent and most informative talks. Sarah 
Stanfield spoke on Gertrude Chataway, "girl with a boyish 
garb," whom Dodgson met at Sandown when she was almost 
nine, and whom he loved to draw and photograph in her 
wading clothes (and perhaps less). Next, while lamenting 
the absence of David Schaefer, who knows a thing or two 
about bathing machines, Alan White went on to give a superb 
talk and slide show on the history of the fascinating 

On Sunday morning we congregated in Freshwater 
at the grave of Emily Tennyson, Alfred's wife, and from there 
motored to Osborne House, a favorite retreat of Queen 
Victoria. The Queen came to Wight often, but it seems she 
never visited Farringford even though she would have been 
that rare guest from whom the poet did not flee. At Osborne 
House, after dipping our feet (the only time during my entire 
visit to England), we variously wandered through the gardens, 
took the house tour, or ambled down toward the sea to visit 
Swiss Cottage, an elaborate playhouse for the royal children, 
and to view the Queen's bathing machine. 

Thus, officially, ended our Idylls. Unofficially, 
however, several of us continued on to Lyndhurst, near 
Alice's home at Cuffnells. Sunday evening, Edward 
Wakeling, often using as props copies of materials from 
Lot 140 of the Sotheby's auction, recreated Alice and Caryl 
Hargreaves' trip to the United States in 1932 when Alice 
was made a "Dodo" of literature by Columbia University — 
or so her diary appears to read! Edward was assisted 
wonderfully by Marion Hiller and Alan White, who read from 
the travelers' diaries. Alice, it seems, wrote mostly about 
the weather, while callow Caryl had an eye out for profit, 
and usually referred to his mother impersonally as A.P.H. 
The next morning we visited Alice's grave, which 
was planted with red and white roses. A few weeds spied in 
the graveplot were quickly removed by LCS member Michael 
O'Connor, our own Mad Gardener. The church (St. Michael 
and All Angels) attached to Alice's grave is itself a fabulous 
repository of Victorian art, including stained glass windows 
by Burne-Jones and Rossetti, and Frederick Leighton's 
fresco of "The Wise and Foolish Virgins", and we spent more 
than a few moments admiring its many virtues. We then drove 
to nearby Emory Downs and explored the lovely smaller 
church, closer to Cuffnells, where Alice most often 
worshiped. Finally, after lunch together at the Mad Hatter's 
teashop, our idyll did end... until next year. 
Too much time in 'coffee houses'? 

An unusual production of AW took place in 
Amsterdam, according to the Frankfurter Allgemeine 
Zeitung, September 7, 2001. Russian composer Alexander 
Knaifel "elected to use the Wonderland characters as icons, 
mixing them with clowns and other 'artists', to make quite 

literally a three-ring circus. The music is a ninety-minute 
long (including several minutes of silence) potpourri ranging 
from nursery diatonism to dots of 'new Russian' minimalism 
to lavish clouds of samplers, with cackling choruses, ringing 
and rumbling from six highly diverse orchestral groups, 
quasi-quotes from Zauberflote (among unnamed others' 
pieces), and apparently a pistol-toting conductor!" 
If the shoe doesn't fit, make it 

Those keeping up with the progress of the "celestial 
Alice globe" (KL 64, pp.23-24) will be glad to know that a 
stunning 33" prototype has been completed and will be for 
sale at Christie's (London) "Globes and Planetaria" auction 
(#9265) on November 28th. James Bissell-Thomas of 
Greaves & Thomas says that they intend to make several 
versions: "a 12" diameter (printed in colour), supported by 
a base in the shape of a white Staunton queen with white 
pawn finial; a more elaborate 12" version where a bronze of 
Father William balancing the eel will be made, designed so 
that the eel's nose balances the globe perfectly; and I suppose 
if there is interest we will also do [an edition of] 33" with 
two different stands available, one with [the above described 
base] and a more elaborate stand where the globe is 
supported by a gardener and the executioner. Lastly, a paper 
version will also possibly be made." 

While we have no quarrel with the beauty of Mr. 
Bissell-Thomas' objet d'art, nor the use of Alician 
characters as constellations (being just as valid 
astronomically as crabs, camelopards, and others currently 
populating the skies), his accompanying booklet makes it 
clear that he cannot distinguish between back-formation, 
i.e. the heavy-handed manipulation of data to fit a 
preconceived idea and the original aim of the creator. Since 
JB-T has managed to ramrod the Zodiac and other 
constellations into the characters in the Alician universe, 
he believes that this was Carroll's "secret intention" — to 
base the works on the stars (after all, "looking-glass was an 
early term for telescope.") Charming or irritating, take your 
pick. But the globe is magnificent! 
Excerpts follow: 
Aquarius = Mad Hatter holding his teapot. 

Pisces = Fish footmen. It might be interesting to note that 
Astrologers associate Pisces as being the messenger, which is 
exactly the task undertaken by these footmen. [The symbol for 
Pisces is a pair offish; there is only one Fish footman. Pisces 
(Jupiter) is not the messenger; Gemini (Mercury) is - ed.] 

Virgo (the Virgin) = Alice of course! 

Scorpio = The Lobster. The only visual difference between a 
Lobster and a Scorpion is the tail; in Alice, shoes conveniently 
cover the tail. It should also be noted that early depictions for 
Scorpio's region were of a Carapacious (shelled) monster i.e. 
not a scorpion, which gives further credence to the lobster. 

Andromeda chained = Hatta the queer Anglo-Saxon messenger. 
Hatta is chained and fortunately for us is wearing a dress! (Albeit 

Bootes the Herdsman = The Carpenter. While some fools think 
that a farmer/shepherd or herdsman is kind to their flock, their 
ultimate motive is to line their pocket or stomach! Here the 


Chamaeleon the Chameleon = The Tove. I believe this strange 
creature is the best candidate as it is changing from a badger to a 
lizard to a corkscrew. I can only presume that a chameleon once 
passed a badger a mirror and a corkscrew in a wine bar close to 
where Charles Dodgson was sitting! 

Cygnus the Swan = The Dodo. Cygnus before it was depicted 
as a swan was described as a large bird. In Arabia it was depicted 
as a chicken therefore it is possibly safe to presume that in 
Mauritius it must be the Dodo. 

Delphinus the dolphin = The mouse from the pool of tears. This 
may seem somewhat vague until one remembers that when Alice 
first encounters the mouse, when swimming, she believes it to be 
something else (walrus or hippopotamus). 

Hercules = Father William, Hercules is known for undertaking 
numerous challenges in order to prove himself. 

Indus the Indian = the man in the railway carriage, he looks like 
an Indian especially as Indian is an old fashioned way of describing 
an indigenous person. 

Lupus the wild animal = The black kitten. Since the Renaissance 
this constellation has been depicted as a wolf, however before 
then it was an unspecified wild beast. 

Ophiuchus the Serpent Holder = Humpty Dumpty. Why do you 
ask? Well, what does an egg hold? None other than a Serpent! 
Not only this but Humpty also holds Alice's hand — Alice is 
called a serpent by a pigeon when she protrudes from the treetops. 

Phoenix = The Gryphon. This was not the first choice, the first 
being the Plum Cake as it rises in a fire (oven) and miraculously 
transforms from mixed ingredients to a cake. 

Ursa Major the Great Bear = This at first was a hard one as 
there are no bears in Alice. However if you look into the myth of 
the Great Bear, you will learn that though Jupiter was married, he 
had several lovers. His lover Callisto was disguised as the bear in 
order that she would not be found. Their son was also disguised 
as the constellation the Little Bear. 'Duchess' is a colloquial term 
for a king's mistress as several mistresses to kings became 
duchesses as a way of incorporating them into the royal court. In 
Alice the duchess also has a son and also has a tryst with the 
queen, which seems to confirm all of the above so making remarks 
that the duchess has to bear her ugly face are not necessary! 

Vulpecula cum Anser the Fox and Goose = Bishop and Pawn, 
The reasoning for this might seem odd until one recalls that there 
is a game played using a chess board which involves a fox trying 
to catch a goose, to play this game one uses a bishop and 4 
pawns. I presume these figures are selected to imply that the 
church is the sly fox that survives by catching geese (pawns) in 
order to survive in this reality with very little effort. 

Also it might be of interest to note that in the 1 8th century, there 
was near the North Pole the constellation of the Deer; by the 
19th century this was removed [from maps]. Alice finds a fawn 
that has lost its name. We have placed it back into the heavens. 

Contact them at;; P.O.Box 190, Richmond, 
Surrey TW9 4ER, U.K.; +44 (0)208 392 6969. 

Reflections on a Week of Wednesdays, continued from p.20 

8. in CLD's diary, July 10, 1857, he described an eerie scene in a 
novel as "worthy of Miss Bronte" or Edgar Poe" ( Wakeling, Diaries, 
Vol. 3, p. 83). The sales catalogue of Carroll's books (reproduced 
in Lewis Carroll's Library, Carroll Studies #5, ed. Jeffrey Stern 
[Lewis Carroll Society ofNorth America, 1 98 1 ]) shows that Carroll 
owned a three- volume set of Poe's works, as well as a collection 
of his poetry and a life-and-letters biography. 

9. Jules Verne, Around the World in Eighty Days, 1873 

1 0. preserved in the Carroll Collection of the Harry Ransom Center 
of the University of Texas at Austin. 

1 1 . The April 24 list is shown on the Ransom Center's Carroll website 

12. France's zero had been set by Cardinal Richelieu in 1634 on the 
west coast of the island of Ferro, the westernmost of the Canary 
Islands, and thus the western edge of Europe. 

13. Greenwich Time and the Discovery of the Longitude (Oxford: 
Oxford University Press, 1 980), pp. 1 54- 1 55 continued opposite 

1 4. Time Lord: Sir Sandford Fleming and the creation of standard 
time (London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2000) 

15. "The International Dateline," Geographical Magazine, April 
1942, p. 306 

16. In Morrison's illustration, the rattlesnake's question, "Oikzt a<$> 
iou Svv oui0 8p.Ao8Coto^?", is pseudo-Greek, as it is a rough 
transliteration of "What have you done with Dr. Dodgson?". 

1 7. Science Student Journal, April, May, June, 1 888. Wells credited 
his introduction to the idea of time as a fourth dimension to a speech 
by his fellow-student, E. A. Hamilton-Gordon. 

18. Edinburgh: Oliver & Boyd, 1952 

19. Wakeling, vol.4 

20. Greene, p. 362 

2 1 . Book VIII, chap. 1 , part 9, #53 

Right, the Greaves and Thomas globe (detail) 


From Oar rar-fiomfl' 


The Roundhill by Dick King-Smith; 
Sian Bailey, illustrations. Random 
House, 2000: 0517800489. A tale for 
sub-teens, set in 1936, wherein a 14 
year-old-boy meets the ghost of Alice 

Mathematics of the 19' h Century, Vol. 
1 of the 2 nd revised edition (Kolmogo- 
lov and Yushkevich, eds.) pays tribute 
to Dodgson's being the first to publish 
a proof of "the notion of rank of a 
matrix and the Kronecker-Capelli 

"The German Alice" is a bibliography 
of "(nearly) all Alices ever published 
in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland 
since 1896." The compiler offers a 
photocopied edition for us$10, 
including postage and free updates. 
Udo Pasterny, Hohenzollernstr. 15, 
44135 Dortmund, Germany. 

Men in Wonderland: The Lost 
Girlhood of the Victorian Gentleman, 
an academic treatise by Catherine 
Robson, Princeton Univ Press, 
0691004226, analyzes the relationship 
between middle-class men and little 
girls in nineteenth-century British 
culture. Documenting the phenomenon 
of "girl worship" in the literary works 
of canonical male authors, including 
Wordsworth, Dickens, De Quincey, 
Ruskin, and Carroll, the author 
suggests that such fantasies offered the 
adult male "the best opportunity to 
reconnect with his own lost self. 


The Independent (London) 1 1 Sept. 
'01, ran a feature contest "Latterday 
Labours for a modern Hercules". One 
suggestion was "Slay the Jabberwock, 
rid the wabe of all slithy toves and alter 
the British weather so it is brillig all 
year round. (Clair Hubble)." 

The July 9/16, 2001 "On Photography" 
double-issue of U.S. News & World 
Report included "The Timeless 
Moment" by Sara Sklaroff and featured 
the 1872 J.M.Cameron portrait of 
Alice Liddell. Also online at 


"Why is a Raven like a Writing-Desk?": 
The Play of Letters in Lewis Carroll's 
Alice Books" by Jan Susina in the 
Children 's Literature Association 
Quarterly, Spring 2001, Vol.26 No.l. 

A long article on Camp Jabberwocky 
for disabled children (KL 55 p. 15) 
appeared in the Boston Globe, 26 July. 

In an article in The Sun (U.K.), 5 
September, Martin Phillips discussed 
Fay Weldon's "product placement" for 
Bulgari in her new novel and speculates 
on other possible sponsored novels, 
including' Alice in Wonderbra. 

The Sea Fairy is a monthly newsletter 
for enthusiasts of vintage illustrated 
children's books. The May '01 issue 
excerpted "Phantasmagoria" and the 
July '01 feature was "LC and the 
Strange History of AW\ Contact Liz 
Holderman, 2714 Sherrill Part Dr.; 
Richardson TX 75082; lholderman@ 

The September '01 issue of Biography 
Magazine contains "Through the 
Looking Glass: The Genius Who Gave 
Us AW' by Melissa Burdick Harmon, 
illustrated with photographs by and of 
CLD; with sidebars: "Charles' Rela- 
tionship with Children" and "What Be- 
came of the Real Alice?"; the travel, 
food, and interiors sections, as well as 
the monthly crossword puzzle, are all 
dedicated to Carrollian subjects. 

The September issue (vol. 178 no. 6) 
of Poetry includes a sequence of 
poems by Stephen Dunn, each one 
titled "[writer] in [place]." The others 
in the series are biographically-based 
choices of geographical places, but the 
concluding poem is set in the mind, 
"LC in the Rabbit Hole". 

"What's left if the Jabberwock gets the 
semantics? An ERP [event-related 
potential] investigation into semantic 
and syntactic processes during auditory 
sentence comprehension" by Hahne 

and Jescheniak, Cognitive Brain 
Research, 2001, vol. 11, no. ER2. 

"Was the Snark a Boojum? One Hun- 
dred Years of LC Biographies" by 
Carolyn Sigler, Children's Literature 
(MLA, Yale University Press), vol. 29 
- 200 1 surveys the territory and reviews 
in depth the most recent four (Thomas, 
Bakewell, Stoffel, Leach). 

Science, June 22, had the Red Queen 
on the cover to illustrate a special sec- 
tion on plant pathology. Why? Plants 
have to run as fast as they can {i.e., 
continually adapt) to "maintain resis- 
tance against their ever-evolving 

"Alice in Ojai" and "Appreciating 
Alice", essays by John Wilcock in the 
Ojai Orange 'zine (First Issue, 
Summer 2001). For subscription and 
reprint information, contact P.O.Box 
1359, Ojai CA 93023. 

The Readers Digest, August '01, has 
a filler titled "Star Power" contributed 
by Carol Maples which reads "I over- 
heard two children discussing their 
selection in the video store. One boy 
took Disney's Cinderella off the shelf, 
pointed to the drawing of the title 
character on the cover and said, 'Oh, 
she's really good. I saw her in Alice in 
Wonderland.' " 


A display case from the "New Main to 
New Millennium" exhibition at the San 
Francisco Main Library (June - August) 
featured volumes and objects (such as 
a tapestry) on an AW theme, drawn from 
the Effie Lee Morris Historical and 
Research Collection of Children's 
Literature. See 

The LC collection of Dr. George 
Cassady was donated to the Doheny 
Rare Book Room of the USC 
(University of Southern California) 
Libraries in December '00, along with 
a significant endowment for a sym- 
posium on Carroll's life and work to 
take place in 2002. Contact Tyson 
Reyes,; 213.740. 
3391. Prof. James Kincaid is the 
faculty advisor. 



Jeff Garrett delivered a version of his 
talk on translation (AX 66 pp. 5-9) to 
the Bologna Children's Book Fair in 

"From Goody Two Shoes to Harry 
Potter: Collections of Historical 
Children's Literature" was a program 
at the American Library Association's 
annual conference in San Francisco on 
June 17. Curators of six major collec- 
tions of children's literature offered 
presentations on the highlights of their 
collections. Speakers were Rita J. 
Smith of The Baldwin Library of His- 
torical Children's Literature, Univer- 
sity of Florida; Angelica Carpenter of 
The Arne Nixon Center for the Study 
of Children's Literature, California 
State University, Fresno; Andrea 
Immel of The Cotsen Children's 
Library at Princeton University; Karen 
Nelson Hoyle of The Children's 
Literature Research Collections, 
University of Minnesota; Dee Jones, 
of The deGrummond Children's 
Literature Collection, University of 
Southern Mississippi; and Terry 
Goldich of The Northeast Children's 
Literature Collection, University of 

Our home page was a "weekly choice 
of three of the top Arts sites from 
across the Web" from "BBC Online's 
WebGuide: Best of the Web" page in 
early September, 
guide/. Way to go, Joel! 
Todd Norcross' animated website at has MP3 links 
to his song "Wonderland" from the CD 
of the same name. The song recounts 
his dream of a dark perhaps-romance 
with Alice. 

Quicktime movies of Monica 
Edinger's fourth-grade toy theater 
production at 
alice200 1 /alice200 1 main.html. 
"The Alice Books: Adventures in Lan- 
guage & Logic" course materials from 
the University of Denver at www.du. 
edu/~ckuhn/summer/al ice . htm. 

"Escape from Wonderland", an online 
comic serial by Danny Wall, can be 
visited at He is 

also the artist associated with Arrow 
Comic's "Wonderland" trilogy, a 
spinoff from their "Dark Oz" titles 
which includes characters from both 
worlds. See 
maketplace.html or contact Arrow 
Comics, P.O. Box 7014, Flint, MI 

"Trevor", a design student from 
Australia, has two illustrations from a 
proposed new edition of AW along with 
a survey for which he is soliciting 

An exploitation of the works for 
fundamentalist Christian recruitment 

Speaking of exploitation, Malena 
Watrous' visit to "Alice in Shikaland", 
Japan's foremost museum of nuclear 
power, its decor and narrative frame- 
work inspired by AW, is a fascinating 
journal. See www.kampo. 

An unclad, barely pubescent Alice is 
the heroine of the Japanese publication 
Black Alice in Wonderland. 

Lauren Harman's delightful site on the 
illustrators (AX 66 p.22) has moved to 
Knowledge Matters Ltd.'s "Online 
Literature Library" contains the full 
texts of AW, TTLG, HS, and S&B at 
lewis/. It's essentially a mirror of the 
Project Gutenberg e-texts. FireBlade 
Coffeehouse has S&B and S&BC 
among a host of other Carroll e-texts, 
including Phantasmagoria and much 
of his verse, 

Pazooter Works, formerly known as 
Sundance Software (AX 59 p.20) then 
Giraffics Multimedia (AX 64/7.22 ), are 
producers of the "Dynamic Text 
Version" of AW and now have a "Mad 
Hatter's Tea Party Multimedia Kit®" — 
$20 (downloaded) or $50 as a CD/ 
ROM — which helps you plan a themed 
children's party, www.megabrands. 
com/alice/indexx .html . 

"Dispatch from Disneyland" (unof- 
ficial) at "Laughing Place" reviews AW 
rides at 
News-ID 103090 .asp. 
Performances Noted 

"The AW Follies: A "Ballet Vaudeville" 
by the New York Theatre Ballet at 
Florence Gould Hall in NYC in June. 
Reviewed in the New York Times (15 
June by Laurel Graeber) as "a delightful 
hodgepodge" and (19 June by Jack 
Anderson) as "conceived as a vaudeville 
show presented in 1915 to celebrate 
the 50 th anniversary". 

"One Voice Mixed Chorus", the Twin 
Cities' gay/lesbian/bisexual/trans- 
gender community chorus, collabor- 
ated with "In the Heart of the Beast 
Puppet and Mask Theatre" in a program 
at Hamline University in St. Paul MN, 
weekend of June 15, featuring the 
premiere of three choral works by 
Jeanie Brindley-Barnett based on texts 
by a wide range of poets, including LC. 

AW, at the University of South Florida 
in June, uses Andre Gregory's "poor 
theatre" (minimalist) adaptation. "Alice 
is, in fact, the only character that 
remains constant throughout the show 
while four other actors interchangeably 
move in and out of the characters she 
creates in her mind." 
In June and July, Kingwood College 
Theatre (Houston, TX) presented AW, 
a one-act play based on William 
Glennon's adaptation. 
AW by "Once Upon a Time" where 
"members of the audience (mostly 
children) follow Alice around on her 
surreal journey", July at the Queens 
Museum of Art, New York City. The 
musical numbers were from Disney. 
Janet Jurist found it "amusing and 

Jeannette Clift George's musical 
version of TTLG in a benefit 
performance for the Greater Houston 
Red Cross Disaster Fund, August 7*, 
by the A.D. players. 
The "Fort Fringe, Jr." production of 
"Curiouser and Curiouser", a play with 
puppets about the friendship between 
CLD and APL. New York, weekend of 
August 24-6. 


Russ Duffy's staged version of the 
Hunting of the Snark played at the San 
Francisco Fringe Festival in September. 
It was also produced at the Edinburgh 
Fringe Festival in August. 

The Ninth Annual St. Petersburg (FL) 
Tines "Festival of Reading" Nov. 10 and 
1 1 will feature an actor portraying LC. 

Jonathan Nossiter's stark movie about 
adultery, "Signs & Wonders", uses AW 
as a recurring motif. 

On July 20, CBC-TV (Canada)'s show 
"The National" presented an interview 
with the producers and cast of the 
Concordia University (Montreal) 
Center for the Arts and Human 
Development's production of "Finding 
Wonderland" with a cast of students 
with developmental disabilities. 

In the Boston area? Try "Tea-Tray In The 
Sky", a "whimsical place for tea, dining, 
gifts, catering, and more" with sister 
restaurants in Arlington and Cambridge, 
MA (781.643.7203 and 617.492.8327 
respectively) has Alice-themed decor, 
decorations and gifts (and a mural in 
the Arlington one), 


Record prices were paid at Sotheby's 
May 11* sale of 19 th century British 
photography, including a sale to the Tel 
Aviv Museum of Art of a CLD 
photograph of Xie Kitchin for £58,000 


The shaped audio CD of AW (KL 64 
p. 23) can be ordered at www.bmd for $10. 

Leigh Allan makes delightful one-of- 
a-kind Alice miniatures and jewelry. 
Most of her tiny sculptures have at 
least one moving part, www.actors 

A new set of 6 Alice hinged Limoges- 
style boxes, known as "Fabulous 
Fakes", are being produced in China, 
retailing for $7 or less. See www. The site has 
many other (more expensive) Alice 
porcelain hinged boxes and enamel 
boxes by Rochard and Dubarry. Just 
search on Wonderland. 

"Alice's Tea Party", three finger 
puppets in a soft sculpture teacup from 
html. 7" high, $25. 

"Lorina" sparkling orangeade from 
Geyer Freres in France at upscale 
stores everywhere or 

A Janus-like portrait of CLD by Lois 
Duffy, acrylic on canvas, 60" x 48", 
$3000 from Blue Dome Galleries in 
Silver City, New Mexico; 505.534. 
8671; dome/ 
artist/LoisDuffy/looking glass.htm. 

A Seattle band named "Beautiful Soup" 
has released an album. See www.beaut 

Kirks Folly has some (literally) 
"charming" AW jewelry, including a 
watch ($88), bracelet ($36), pin ($45), 
clip earrings ($50), and a picture frame 
for a 2x3" picture ($50). See 
welry.html, or contact Sharon Lefko- 
witz, 385 Grand St. # L - 1801, New 
York, NY 10002. 212.979.6066. 

The Smithsonian Catalog (1.800. 
322.0344;www.smithsonian catalogue. 

org) offers porcelain and fabric 
ornaments of the Queen of Hearts and 
the Cheshire Cat on sale at $8 each. 

The Disney Store (www. disney store. 
com; 1.800.237.5751) has costumes 
of the Mad Hatter in adult sizes ($60) 
and Alice in girls' ($30). 

Sculptor Gerald Milazzo's ". . .and One 
Side Makes You Small", depicting the 
caterpillar atop a group of mushrooms, 
is "carved from fossil mammoth ivory, 
stained, with inlaid buffalo horn eyes". 
About 2V2" tall, edition of one, circa 
gallery_gm.htm; P.O.Box 864, Gualala 
CA 95445;; 707. 

"Action Figures" (a marketing term for 
dolls for boys) from American Mc 
Gee's ultracrepidarian electronic 
game, including a set of "a forlorn 
Alice with bloodied apron standing 7" 
tall and carrying a large bloodied knife, 
and a 4.5" tall tattooed, pierced, 
grinning Cheshire Cat figure" ($25); 
also a singleton of the caterpillar, $25. 

Handpainted AW chess set from New 
Zealand. us$370. 
alice.htm; "Elegant Chess", 306 
Avonside Drive, Avonside, Christ 
church, New Zealand; 64.3.389. 0074. 

Alice on Her Way Down, a mixed- 
media scroll by Judith Serebrin with a 
moveable Alice, featured in "Books as 
Art: Art as Books" at the Triton 
Museum of Art in Santa Clara CA. 
Edition of 20, 1998. 

A set of the Beswick Alice figurines 
on a woodland base is offered for 
$1000 from Temple's Antiques, Box 
46237, Eden Prairie MN 55344; 

For help in preparing this issue thanks are due to Fran Abeles, Marilyn Barnett, Ruth Berman, Joel Birenbaum, Llisa 
Demetrios Burstein, Sandor Burstein, Angelica Carpenter, Monica Edinger, Johanna Hurwitz, August Imholtz, Clare 
Imholtz, Stan Isaacs, Janet Jurist, Charlotte Kackley, Stephanie Lovett, Laurel Mahaffey, Fred Ost, Lucille Posner, 
Alan Tannenbaum, Ralph Sims, John Tufail, and Cindy, Charlotte, and Nick Watter. 

Knight Letter is the official newsletter of the Lewis Carroll Society of North America. It is published several times a 
year and is distributed free to all members. Subscriptions, business correspondence, and inquiries should be ad- 
dressed to the Secretary, P.O.Box 204, Napa CA 94559. Annual membership dues are U.S. $20 (regular) and $50 
(sustaining). Submissions and editorial correspondence should be sent to the Editor, Box 2006, Mill Valley CA 94942 
or, preferably, by e-mail. 

President: Stephanie Lovett, Secretary: Cindy Watter, 

V.P. and Editor: Mark Burstein, L.C.S.N.A. Home Page: